Leptocylindrus minimus

General Close


(diatoms) Having radial symmetry, i.e., cell is shaped like a coin or a tuna can or a soup can.

Shape Cylindrical
Size Length 15 - 50 μm, diameter 1.5 - 5 μm
Colour Yellow-brown
Connection Direct cell-to-cell contact
Covering Silica Close


In diatoms, the hard and porous silica cell wall (Horner 2002).



(plural: flagella) A tail-like projection that sticks out from the cell body and enables movement.



An organelle in the cell that contains the cell pigments (Horner 2002). This is where photosynthesis occurs. A chloroplast is a specialized chromatophore.

Two, elongate, in the centre of cell
Lifestyle Close


The chemical process by which light energy, water and carbon dioxide are combined to produce oxygen and organic compounds. Photoautotrophic organisms (plants and algae) use this reaction to produce their own food.

. Sexual/asexual. Close

Resting spore

In diatoms, a cell that requires a dormancy period prior to germination and can survive for several years; usually developed to survive adverse conditions. They are commonly observed in centric but not pennate diatoms. The morphology of the spore may be similar or different from a vegetative cell; they usually have heavily silicified walls and are rich in storage products (Horner 2002).

Resting spores


A rapid increase or accumulation of algal populations in an aquatic system. This will likely involve one or a few dominant phytoplankton species. This follows seasonal patterns (i.e., spring, summer or fall bloom) with dominant species being those that are best adapted to the environmental conditions of that time period. Discolouration of the water may be observed because of the algae's pigmentation. Blooms are often green but may be yellow-brown or red depending on the species present.

Information not available
Harmful effects May cause fish-mortalities
Habitat Close


Describing shallow, near-shore areas and the organisms that live there. Refers to shallow marine waters ranging from the low tide mark to the continental shelf. Varying amounts of sunlight penetrate the water, allowing photosynthesis by both phytoplankton and bottom-dwelling organisms. Close proximity to land favours high nutrient content and biological activity (Encyclopedia Britannica 2011).

and Close


Of or relating to estuaries.

Geographic Close


Widely distributed; occurring in many parts in the world.

in coastal waters except in polar regions
Seasonal Most abundant in late spring and summer in Bay of Fundy
Growth Conditions


The dissolved ion content of a body of water. Can be measured in the following units: parts per thousand (PPT or ‰), practical salinity units (PSU), and absolute salinity (g/kg). PPT is measured by weight, denoting the number of parts salt per thousand total parts or a value of 10-3. PSU measures the conductivity of saltwater and compares it in a ratio to a standard KCl solution (because this is a ratio, salinity measured in this way can also be written without units). The newest unit of salinity is absolute salinity, which uses the mass fraction of salt in seawater (g salt per kg seawater) rather than its conductivity (TEOS-20 2010).

18 - 38
Temperature -1 - 29 °C (optimal)


Leptocylindrus belgicus Meunier 1915 Close


A difference in type. In naming species, a heterotypic synonym is one that comes into being when a taxon becomes part of a different taxon. Compare to homotypic.

(Guiry and Guiry 2011)


Empire Eukaryota
Kingdom Chromista
Subkingdom Harosa
Infrakingdom Heterokonta
Phylum Ochrophyta
Subphylum Khakista
Class Coscinodiscophyceae
Subclass Chaetocerotophycidae
Order Leptocylindrales
Family Leptocylindraceae
Genus Leptocylindrus
Species L. minimus Gran 1915

(Guiry and Guiry 2011)


Photosynthetic. Reproduces sexually and asexually (Guiry 2011). Resting spores are present (see Description section; Hasle and Syvertsen 1997).


Cells are very small, cylindrical and united in long, straight or gently undulating chains. The Close


In diatoms, the structurally distinct halves of the cell wall (Becker 1996).

faces are flat. Cells are thin-walled, without obvious Close


In some diatoms, "closed or solid structures projecting from the cell wall;" in dinoflagellates, solid projections that usually taper to a point.

or Close


A natural projection or appendage on an organism.

. Cells have two (sometimes one) elongated chloroplasts near the centre of each cell (Hasle and Syvertsen 1997, Kraberg et al. 2010). Cells are yellow-brown in colour (Guiry 2011).
"Resting spore is Close


Having a generally spherical shape; resembling a viscous drop of liquid.

with a cylindrical neck" (Hasle and Syvertsen 1997).


Length: 15 - 50 μm
Diameter: 1.5 - 5 μm
(Kraberg et al. 2010)

Similar species

May resemble very small cells of L. danicus. L. minimus can be distinguished from L. danicus by its smaller size and also by the chloroplasts: L. minimus has two elongated chloroplasts near the centre of the cell; L. danicus has numerous Close


Oval or egg-shaped.

chloroplasts distributed throughout the cell.

Harmful effects

Has been associated with deaths of farmed salmon (Clement and Lembeye 1991).


Neritic and estuarine (Madden and Marshall 1993).


Cosmopolitan in coastal waters (Horner 2002). Absent from Subantarctic/Antarctic (Hargraves 1990, cited in Hasle and Syvertsen 1997).
In the Bay of Fundy, Canada, the highest concentrations are usually found in spring and summer (Martin et al. 2010). Most abundant in late spring and early summer in Northern European seas (Kraberg et al. 2010).
Information not available.

Growth conditions

May be favoured by coastal conditions (Martin et al. 2010). Occurrence associated with Close


A wind-driven mechanism of mixing the water column. Cold, dense, nutrient-rich, and often oxygen-poor water from depths rises to replace the warmer nutrient-poor surface water. This input of nutrients can have a significantly increase primary productivity in a region (Dugdale 1985).

in tropical regions (Horner 2002). Abundance increases mainly with increasing nitrate concentration (Alves-de-Souza et al. 2008), and also with temperature, salinity and total chlorophyll a (Pizarra et al. 1997).

Environmental Ranges

Depth range (m): 0 - 265
Temperature range (°C): -1.476 - 29.468
Nitrate (μmol L-1): 0.056 - 8.947
Salinity (PSU): 17.940 - 37.775
Oxygen (mL L-1): 4.500 - 8.948
Phosphate (μmol L-1): 0.048 - 1.261

Silicic acid

A general term to describe chemical compounds containing silicon, oxygen and hydrogen with a general formula of [SiOx(OH)4-2x]n. Diatoms polymerize silicic acid into biogenic silica to form their frustules (Azam and Chisholm 1976).

(μmol L-1): 1.153 - 28.076
(OBIS 2011, cited in EOL 2011)

Bloom characteristics

Information not available.


Alves-de-Souza, C., González, M. T. and Iriarte, J. L. 2008. Functional groups in marine phytoplankton assemblages dominated by diatoms in fjords of southern Chile. Journal of Plankton Research. 30(11): 1233-1243.

Clement, A. and Lembeye, G. 1991. Phytoplankton Monitoring Program in the Fish Farming Region of South Chile. University of Rhode Island/et al. 5th International Conference on Toxic Marine Phytoplankton, Newport (Elsevier). 223-223.

Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). 2011. Leptocylindrus minumus. http://www.eol.org/pages/911505/overview. Accessed 10 Sep 2011.

Guiry, M. D. 2011. Leptocylindrus minimus Gran, 1915. http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=149039. Accessed 10 Sep 2011.

Guiry, M. D. and Guiry, G. M. 2011. Leptocylindrus minimus Gran. http://www.algaebase.org/search/species/detail/?species_id=38351. Accessed 10 Sep 2011.

Hargraves, P. E. 1990. Studies on marine planktonic diatoms. V. Morphology and distribution of Leptocylindrus minimus Gran. Beiheft zur Nova Hedwigia. 100: 47-60.

Hasle, G. R. and Syvertsen, E. E. 1997. Marine diatoms. In: Tomas, C. R. (ed.) Identifying marine Phytoplankton. Academic Press, Inc., San Diego. 5-385.

Horner, R. A. 2002. A Taxonomic Guide To Some Common Phytoplankton. Biopress Limited, Dorset Press, Dorchester, UK. 200.

Kraberg, A., Baumann, M. and Durselen, C. D. 2010. Coastal Phytoplankton: Photo Guide for Northern European Seas. Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, Munchen, Germany. 204.

Madden, J. and Marhsall, H. G. 1993. Representative diatom composition along a salinity gradient in the James River. Virginia Journal of Science. 44(2): 120-120.

Martin, J. L., Hastey, C. D., LeGresley, M. M. and Page, F. H. 2010. Temporal and spatial characteristics of the diatom Leptocylindrus minimus in the Western Isles region of the Bay of Fundy. Canadian technical report of fisheries and aquatic sciences. 2903: 1-27.

Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). 2011. Leptocylindrus minimus. http://www.iobis.org/mapper/?taxon_id=461976. Accessed 10 Sep 2011.

Pizarra, G., Guzman, L., Frangopulas, M. and Alarcon, C. 1997. Environmental conditions associated with phytoplankton blooms in a remote area of PSP detection (Bahia Pecket, strait of Magellan, Chile). VIII International conference on Harmful algae - Abstracts and Posters Classification. Instituto Español de Oceanografia, Centro Oceanografico de Vigo, Vigo. vp

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