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Coccolithophore calcification: Changing paradigms in changing oceans

Coccolithophore calcification: Changing paradigms in changing oceans
Coccolithophore calcification: Changing paradigms in changing oceans

Coccolithophores represent a major component of the marine phytoplankton and contribute to the bulk of biogenic calcite formation on Earth. These unicellular protists produce minute calcite scales (coccoliths) within the cell, which are secreted to the cell surface. Individual coccoliths and their arrangements on the cell surface display a wide range of morphological variations. This review explores some of the recent evidence that points to similarities and differences in the mechanisms of calcification, focussing on the transport mechanisms that bring substrates to, and remove products from the site of calcification, together with new findings on factors that regulate coccolith morphology. We argue that better knowledge of these mechanisms and their variations is needed to inform more generally how different species of coccolithophore are likely to respond to changes in ocean chemistry. Statement of Significance: Coccolithophores, minute single celled phytoplankton are the major producers of biogenic carbonate on Earth. They also represent an important component of the ocean's biota and contribute significantly to global carbon fluxes. Coccolithophores produce intricate calcite scales (coccoliths) internally that they secrete onto their external surface. This review presents some recent key findings on the mechanisms underlying the production of coccoliths. It also considers the factors that regulate the rate of production as well as the variety of shapes of individual coccoliths and their arrangements at the cell surface. Understanding these processes is needed to allow better predictions of how coccolithophores may respond to changing ocean chemistry associated with climate change.

Coccolith, Coccolithophore, Morphogenesis, Transport
1742-7061
Brownlee, Colin
2af37c1c-b2bf-4832-8370-d9c35e7b3385
Langer, Gerald
eb30fd90-a855-4699-a383-f7e2d826c084
Wheeler, Glen L.
80ee477b-ceb3-4051-923c-399098bb746a
Brownlee, Colin
2af37c1c-b2bf-4832-8370-d9c35e7b3385
Langer, Gerald
eb30fd90-a855-4699-a383-f7e2d826c084
Wheeler, Glen L.
80ee477b-ceb3-4051-923c-399098bb746a

Brownlee, Colin, Langer, Gerald and Wheeler, Glen L. (2020) Coccolithophore calcification: Changing paradigms in changing oceans. Acta Biomaterialia. (doi:10.1016/j.actbio.2020.07.050).

Record type: Review

Abstract

Coccolithophores represent a major component of the marine phytoplankton and contribute to the bulk of biogenic calcite formation on Earth. These unicellular protists produce minute calcite scales (coccoliths) within the cell, which are secreted to the cell surface. Individual coccoliths and their arrangements on the cell surface display a wide range of morphological variations. This review explores some of the recent evidence that points to similarities and differences in the mechanisms of calcification, focussing on the transport mechanisms that bring substrates to, and remove products from the site of calcification, together with new findings on factors that regulate coccolith morphology. We argue that better knowledge of these mechanisms and their variations is needed to inform more generally how different species of coccolithophore are likely to respond to changes in ocean chemistry. Statement of Significance: Coccolithophores, minute single celled phytoplankton are the major producers of biogenic carbonate on Earth. They also represent an important component of the ocean's biota and contribute significantly to global carbon fluxes. Coccolithophores produce intricate calcite scales (coccoliths) internally that they secrete onto their external surface. This review presents some recent key findings on the mechanisms underlying the production of coccoliths. It also considers the factors that regulate the rate of production as well as the variety of shapes of individual coccoliths and their arrangements at the cell surface. Understanding these processes is needed to allow better predictions of how coccolithophores may respond to changing ocean chemistry associated with climate change.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 26 July 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 4 August 2020
Keywords: Coccolith, Coccolithophore, Morphogenesis, Transport

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 445617
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/445617
ISSN: 1742-7061
PURE UUID: e6304445-3b1f-4681-9ebf-b9c6040a32cc

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 Dec 2020 17:31
Last modified: 26 Apr 2022 17:45

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Contributors

Author: Colin Brownlee
Author: Gerald Langer
Author: Glen L. Wheeler

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