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Authors Heintze, C. ; Formanek, P. ; Pohl, D. ; Rellingheus, B. ; Kröger, N.
Title An intimate view into the silica deposition vesicles of diatoms
Date 28.08.2020
Number 58543
Abstract Diatoms are single-celled microalgae that produce silica-based cell walls with intricate nano- and micropatterns. Biogenesis of diatom biosilica is a bottom-up process that occurs in large intracellular compartments termed silica deposition vesicles (SDVs). Investigating the mechanisms of silica morphogenesis has so far been severely limited by the lack of methods for imaging the entire volume of an SDV with high spatial resolution during all stages of development. Here we have developed a method that allows for rapid identification and electron microscopy imaging of many different, full sized SDVs that are in the process of producing biosilica valves. This enabled visualizing the development of characteristic morphological biosilica features with unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution. During early to mid-term development, valve SDVs contained·~·20 nm sized particles that were primarily associated with the radially expanding rib-like biosilica structures. The results from electron dispersive X-ray analysis suggests that the immature biosilica patterns are silica-organic composites. This supports the hypothesis that silica morphogenesis is dependent on organic biomolecules inside the SDV lumen.
Publisher BMC Materials
Wikidata Q105627555
Citation BMC Materials 2 (2020) 11
DOI https://doi.org/10.1186/S42833-020-00017-8
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