Navicula is a genus of boat-shaped algae — primarily aquatic, eukaryotic, photosynthetic organisms, ranging in size from a single cell.
Navicula is a diatom. The Navicula genus of diatoms comprises over 1,200 species.Navicula is Latin for "small ship", and also a term in English for a boat-shaped incense-holder.
Navicula play an important role in global ecology, producing about a quarter of all the oxygen within Earth's biosphere and serving as keystone species in the food chain of many environments where they provide a staple for the diets of many aquatic species.
Navicula diatoms are known for their ability to creep about on each other and on hard surfaces such as microscope slides. It is thought that around the outside of the navicula's shell is a girdle of protoplasm that can flow and thus act as a tank track.
^ Folia Microbiol (Praha). 2007;52(2):127-34. Survival and motility of diatoms Navicula grimmei and Nitzschia palea affected by some physical and chemical factors. Gupta S1, Agrawal SC.
^J Microbiol Methods. 2013 Mar;92(3):349-54. doi: 10.1016/j.mimet.2013.01.006. Epub 2013 Jan 18. Semi-circular microgrooves to observe active movements of individual Navicula pavillardii cells. Umemura K1, Haneda T, Tanabe M, Suzuki A, Kumashiro Y, Itoga K, Okano T, Mayama S.
^ M.A. Harper & J.F. Harper (1967) Measurements of diatom adhesion and their relationship with movement, British Phycological Bulletin, 3:2, 195-207, DOI: 10.1080/00071616700650051