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Title: Nanometer-Scale Chemistry of a Calcite Biomineralization Template: Implications for Skeletal Composition and Nucleation

Biomineralizing organisms exhibit exquisite control over skeletal morphology and composition. The promise of understanding and harnessing this feat of natural engineering has motivated an intense search for the mechanisms that direct in vivo mineral self-assembly. We used atom probe tomography, a sub-nanometer 3D chemical mapping technique, to examine the chemistry of a buried organic-mineral interface in biomineral calcite from a marine foraminifer. Here, the chemical patterns at this interface capture the processes of early biomineralization, when the shape, mineralogy, and orientation of skeletal growth are initially established. Sodium is enriched by a factor of nine on the organic side of the interface. Based on this pattern, we suggest that sodium plays an integral role in early biomineralization, potentially altering interfacial energy to promote crystal nucleation, and that interactions between organic surfaces and electrolytes other than calcium or carbonate could be a crucial aspect of CaCO 3 biomineralization.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [5] ;  [4] ;  [6] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States); Australian National Univ., Acton, ACT (Australia)
  2. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
  3. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  4. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
  5. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia Univ., Palisades, NY (United States)
  6. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States); Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424; 48564; KP1704020
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830; 48564
Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 113; Journal Issue: 46; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory; biomineralization; templating; foraminifera; geochemistry; paleoceanography
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1339818