Papers in the Biological Sciences


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Transactions of the American Microscopical Society (May 1900) 21: 61-68. Twenty-Second Annual Meeting.


In the revision of the Bacillariaceae for Engler and Prantl's “Pflanzenfamilien," Schutt has availed himself principally of the studies of Otto Muller and has given us the first clear conception of the meaning of the diatom cell, and its relation to the diatom filament. Starting with the filament, we regard it as the typical condition, from which the unicellular diatoms have been derived by the solution of the filament and the adaptation of the separate cells to an independent life. Diatoms are thus regarded as typically filamentous algae, and are no longer to be placed among unicellular plants. Accordingly their place in the system is readily determined, and there is no longer any excuse for trying to assign them to the Protophyta or Phaeophyceae, much less to place them outside the vegetable kingdom. Schutt asserts their near relationship to the Desmidiaceae, and Engler in his "Syllabus der Pflanzenfamilien" assigns them to the Euphyceae, with Desmidiaceae and Zygnemaceae as close relatives on the one hand, and the Peridiniales on the other.

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