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Abstract In zooxanthellate corals, the photosynthetic fixation of carbon dioxide and the precipitation of
 

Summary: Abstract In zooxanthellate corals, the photosynthetic
fixation of carbon dioxide and the precipitation of
CaCO3 are intimately linked both spatially and tem-
porally making it difficult to study carbon transport
mechanisms involved in each pathway. When studying
Tubastrea aurea, a coral devoid of zooxanthellae, we
can focus on carbon transport mechanisms involved
only in the calcification process. We performed this
study to characterize T. aurea carbonic anhydrase and
to determine its role in the calcification process. We
have shown that inhibition of tissular carbonic anhy-
drase activity affects the calcification rate. We have
measured the activity of this enzyme both in the tissues
and in the organix matrix extracted from the skeleton.
Our results indicate that organic matrix proteins, which
are synthesized by the calcifying tissues, are not only
structural proteins, but they also play a crucial catalytic
role by eliminating the kinetic barrier to interconver-
sion of inorganic carbon at the calcification site. By
immunochemistry we have demonstrated the presence

  

Source: Adkins, Jess F. - Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Geosciences