The calcifying interface in a stony coral primary polyp: An interplay between seawater and an extracellular calcifying space


Posted: 2021-10-25 19:00:00
J Struct Biol . 2021 Oct 22;107803. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2021.107803. Online ahead of print. Affiliations Expand Affiliation 1 Department of Marine Biology, Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, Mt. Carmel, Haifa 3498838, Israel; Morris Kahn Marine Research Station, The Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, Sdot Yam, Israel. Item in Clipboard Gal Mor Khalifa et al. J Struct Biol. 2021. Show details Display options Display options Format J Struct Biol . 2021 Oct 22;107803. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2021.107803. Online ahead of print. Affiliation 1 Department of Marine Biology, Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, Mt. Carmel, Haifa 3498838, Israel; Morris Kahn Marine Research Station, The Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, Sdot Yam, Israel. Item in Clipboard CiteDisplay options Display options Format Abstract Stony coral exoskeletons build the foundation for the most biologically diverse marine ecosystems on Earth, coral reefs, which face major threats due to many anthropogenic-related stressors. Therefore, understanding coral biomineralization mechanisms is crucial for coral reef management in the coming decades and for using coral skeletons in geochemical studies. This study combines in-vivo imaging with cryo-electron microscopy and cryo-elemental mapping to gain novel insights into the biological microenvironment and the ion pathways that facilitate biomineralization in primary polyps of the stony coral Stylophora pistillata. We document increased tissue permeability in the primary polyp and a highly dispersed cell packing in the tissue directly responsible for producing the coral skeleton. This tissue arrangement may facilitate the intimate involvement of seawater at the mineralization site, also documented here. We further observe an extensive filopodial network containing carbon-rich vesicles extruding from some of the calicoblastic cells. Single-cell RNA-Sequencing data interrogation supports these morphological observations by showing higher expression of genes involved in filopodia and vesicle structure and function in the calicoblastic cells. These observations provide a new conceptual framework for resolving the ion pathway from the external seawater to the tissue-mineral interface in stony coral biomineralization processes. Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc. Conflict of interest statement Declaration of Competing Interest The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper. [x] Cite Copy Format: Send To [x]

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