Biological control of aragonite formation in stony corals

Little is known about how stony corals build their calcareous skeletons. There are two prevailing hypotheses: that it is a physicochemically dominated process and that it is a biologically mediated one. Using a combination of ultrahigh-resolution three-dimensional imaging and two-dimensional solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, we show that mineral deposition is biologically driven. Randomly arranged, amorphous nanoparticles are initially deposited in microenvironments enriched in organic material; they then aggregate and form ordered aragonitic structures through crystal growth by particle attachment. Our NMR results are consistent with heterogeneous nucleation of the solid mineral phase driven by coral acid-rich proteins. Such a mechanism suggests that stony corals may be able to sustain calcification even under lower pH conditions that do not favor the inorganic precipitation of aragonite.

Von Euw S., Zhang Q., Manichev V., Murali N., Gross J., Feldman L. C., Gustafsson T., Flach C., Mendelsohn R. & Falkowski P. G., 2017. Biological control of aragonite formation in stony corals. Science 356(6341):933-938. Article (subscription required).

 

 

0 Responses to “Biological control of aragonite formation in stony corals”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Subscribe to the RSS feed

Powered by FeedBurner

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 1,018,676 hits

OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book