Silicon Biomineralization: Biology — Biochemistry — by Franz Brümmer (auth.), Professor Dr. Werner E. G. Müller

By Franz Brümmer (auth.), Professor Dr. Werner E. G. Müller (eds.)

During evolution silica deposition has been utilized in Protozoa, Metazoa and in crops as skeletal components. it seems that the mechanisms for the formation of biogenic silica have developed independently in those 3 taxa. In Protozoa and crops biosilicification seems to be basically pushed through non-enzymatic approaches and procedes on natural matrices. against this, in sponges (phylum Porifera) this method is mediated via enzymes; the initiation of this procedure is also depending on natural matrices.

In this monograph the position of biosilica as stabilizing constructions in several organisms is reviewed and their position for morphogenetic methods is printed. It offers an updated precis of the mechanisms through which polymeric biosilica is shaped. the quantity is meant for biologists, biochemists and molecular biologists, excited by the certainty of constitution formation in residing organisms and also will be very beneficial for scientists operating within the box of utilized Nanotechnology and Nanobiotechnology.

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7A) shows the previously identified (Pickett-Heaps et al. 1979) silica microfibrils, attached to the silicalemma with what appears to be fairly regular spacing. The extent of silicification is less near the valve-plane oriented silicalemmas and greater towards the raphe fissure and in the center of the SDV, although silicification is skewed towards the cytoplasmic side of the lumen (Fig. 7A). A similar arrangement was seen in the pennate Navicula cuspidata (Edgar and Pickett-Heaps 1984b). Examination of other cross sections suggested that silicification began where two silicalemma intralumenal surfaces were appressed, and as the SDV expanded and microfibrils lengthened, the central region became increasingly silicified (PickettHeaps et al.

Although based on a limited number of unquantified observations, the microfibrils seen in diatom silica (Figs. 6 and 7) appear to be more elongated than silica precipitates formed in vitro by the silaffins and polyamines (Kröger et al. 1999, 2000), and their orientation in the direction of SDV expansion (Fig. 7), are consistent with this idea. Although macrostructure-directing or -affecting properties of silaffins and polyamines (or other potential diatom silicification determinants) have not yet been directly demonstrated, a recently proposed model suggests a mechanism contributing to the formation of successively smaller hexagonally arranged pore structures in the valve of the genus Coscinodiscus (Sumper 2002), and also suggests possible mechanisms affecting macrostructure in other diatom species.

Interestingly, bands of identical size were seen in the three diatom species examined (Vrieling et al. 1999a), which included two pennates and one centric, suggesting that these proteins were highly conserved. These proteins were apparently much less abundant in C. fusiformis than in the other species (Vrieling et al. 1999a). They were of much larger size (45–60 kDa) than the silaffins, and apparently did not have any silica precipitating activity (Swift and Wheeler 1992). Recent results (Naik et al.

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