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Mineral formation in the primary polyps of pocilloporoid corals

Neder, Maayan and Laissue, Pierre Philippe and Akiva, Anat and Akkaynak, Derya and Albéric, Marie and Spaeker, Oliver and Politi, Yael and Pinkas, Iddo and Mass, Tali (2019) 'Mineral formation in the primary polyps of pocilloporoid corals.' Acta Biomaterialia, 96. pp. 631-645. ISSN 1742-7061

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In reef-building corals, larval settlement and its rapid calcification provides a unique opportunity to study the bio-calcium carbonate formation mechanism involving skeleton morphological changes. Here we investigate the mineral formation of primary polyps, just after settlement, in two species of the pocilloporoid corals: Stylophora pistillata (Esper, 1797) and Pocillopora acuta (Lamarck, 1816). We show that the initial mineral phase is nascent Mg-Calcite, with rod-like morphology in P. acuta, and dumbbell morphology in S. pistillata. These structures constitute the first layer of the basal plate which is comparable to Rapid Accretion Deposits (Centers of Calcification, CoC) in adult coral skeleton. We found also that the rod-like/dumbbell Mg-Calcite structures in subsequent growth step will merge into larger aggregates by deposition of aragonite needles. Our results suggest that a biologically controlled mineralization of initial skeletal deposits occurs in three steps: first, vesicles filled with divalent ions are formed intracellularly. These vesicles are then transferred to the calcification site, forming nascent Mg-Calcite rod/pristine dumbbell structures. During the third step, aragonite crystals develop between these structures forming spherulite-like aggregates.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mg-Calcite; Dumbbell; Spherulitic growth; Aragonite; Vesicles
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2019 09:37
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:02

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