Biogenic calcite granules -- Are brachiopods different?


Perez-Huerta A, Dauphin Y & Cusack M (2013) Biogenic calcite granules -- Are brachiopods different?. Micron, 44 (1), pp. 395-403.

Brachiopods are still one of the least studied groups of organisms in terms of biomineralization despite recent studies indicating the presence of highly complex biomineral structures, particularly in taxa with calcitic shells. Here, we analyze the nanostructure of calcite biominerals, fibers and semi-nacre tablets, in brachiopod shells by high-resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). We demonstrate that basic mechanisms of carbonate biomineralization are not uniform within the phylum, with semi-nacre tablets composed of spherical aggregates with sub-rounded granules and fibers composed of large, triangular or rod-like particles composed of small sub-rounded granules (40-60. nm). Additionally, proteinaceous envelopes surrounding calcite fibers have been shown for the first time to have a dual function: providing a micro-environment in which granules are produced and acting as the organic template for particle orientation as fiber components. In summary, these new findings in brachiopod shells reveal a complex and distinctive style of biomineralization among carbonate-producing organisms. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Calcite; Granules; Fibers; Semi-nacre; Amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC)

Micron: Volume 44, Issue 1

Publication date31/01/2013
Publication date online16/09/2012
Date accepted by journal04/09/2012