Cracking the Secrets of the Diatom’s Shell

March 16, 2021

Diatoms, a group of microscopic algae, have been commonly referred to as “living opals,” due to the unusual and striking characteristics of their silica shells. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory research scientist  Setsuko Wakao and professor Kris K. Niyogi in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, where Wakao was formerly a postdoctoral researcher, are conducting research to understand the genetic mechanisms behind the organism's exterior structures. A recent episode of the Genome Insider podcast from the Joint Genome Institute, a partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, explores their research.