Microscopy and Microanalysis


Subdaily Growth Patterns and Organo-Mineral Nanostructure of the Growth Layers in the Calcitic Prisms of the Shell of Concholepas concholepas Bruguière, 1789 (Gastropoda, Muricidae)

Nury  Guzman  a1 , Alexander D.  Ball  a2 , Jean-Pierre  Cuif  a3 c1 , Yannicke  Dauphin  a3 , Alain  Denis  a3 and Luc  Ortlieb  a1
a1 UR055 PALEOTROPIQUE, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, 32 rue Henri Varagnat, F-93143 Bondy, France
a2 Department of Mineralogy, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK
a3 URM 8148 Interactions et Dynamique des Environnements de Surface, bât 504, Université Paris XI, F-91405 Orsay cedex, France

Article author query
guzman n   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
ball ad   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
cuif j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
dauphin y   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
denis a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
ortlieb l   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Fluorochrome marking of the gastropod Concholepas concholepas has shown that the prismatic units of the shell are built by superimposition of isochronic growth layers of about 2 [mu]m. Fluorescent growth marks make it possible to establish the high periodicity of the cyclic biomineralization process at a standard growth rhythm of about 45 layers a day. Sulphated polysaccharides have been identified within the growth layers by using synchrotron radiation, whereas high resolution mapping enables the banding pattern of the mineral phase to be correlated with the layered distribution of polysaccharides. Atomic force microscopy has shown that the layers are made of nanograins densely packed in an organic component.

(Received December 1 2006)
(Accepted April 24 2007)

Key Words: biomineralization; sulphated polysaccharides; microstructure; organo-mineral nanograins.

c1 Corresponding author. E-mail: jean-pierre.cuif@u-psud.fr