Rob Kimmich, a new Contributor to Diatoms of the United States, and I have been revising the project glossary over the last couple of months. We have edited existing definitions, added new definitions, created illustrations for terms, and provided hyperlinks to direct you to related terms. For example, you can click on frustule, and follow the links highlighted in the definition.

Many diatom terms are specific to a particular taxonomic group, such as a family or genus. Terms may also be used for structures that may not be homologous. For example, the "stigma" of Gomphonema is a different structure from the "stigma" of Luticola. Our next objective is to include terms that describe structures of the genus Mastogloia.

When describing valve shape, we encourage contributors to agree on using the same term for a feature. At the same time, we recognize that contributors may use shape terms differently. For example, the "subrostrate ends" of one contributor may be somewhat different than another. We hope to include more illustrations related to shape soon so that usage becomes more standardized.

If you know of a term that you would like included in the glossary, please send us the term with a source or publication for its definition. Try out the glossary and let us know what you think!