Algal Calcification and Silicification

Koester, J, Brownlee, C and Taylor, AR 2016 Algal Calcification and Silicification. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons, 1-10.

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The algae represent major producers of calcium carbonate and silica among the world's biota. Calcification involves the precipitation of CaCO3 from Ca2+ and CO32− ions. Algal calcification by coccolithophores may account for up to half of global oceanic CaCO3 production. Silicification, the transformation of silicic acid into skeletal material, occurs in a few algal groups. The abundant diatoms represent the major silicifiers, playing a key role in marine silica cycling. Fossilised diatomaceous deposits have long been exploited for building and filling materials. Biomineralisation of calcium and silicon require homeostatic ion controls that are well characterised for Ca2+ and H+ in coccolithophores. Calcification occurs in an alkalinised vesicle, while silicification requires an acidic pH. Research on silicification remains focused upon cell wall development. Initiation and development of structures that are mineralised intracellularly requires initiation and regulation by organic components within the vesicles. Low-temperature, low-pressure biogenic formation of silica and calcite has potential for biotechnological application in novel industrial processes.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Additional Keywords: calcite;silica;coccolithophores;diatoms;biogeochemistry
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Marine Microbiome
Depositing User: Barbara Bultmann
Date made live: 03 Oct 2016 11:35
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2024 17:05

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