JOURNAL ARTICLE

Diverse and conserved nano- and mesoscale structures of diatom silica revealed by atomic force microscopy

M Hildebrand, G Holton, D C Joy, M J Doktycz, D P Allison
Journal of Microscopy 2009, 235 (2): 172-87
19659911
An outstanding example of biological pattern formation at the single cell level is the diversity of biomineral structures in the silica cell walls of the unicellular eukaryotic algae known as diatoms. We present a survey of cell wall silica structures of 16 diatom species, which included all major cell wall components (valves, girdle bands and setae), imaged across the nano-, meso- and microscales using atomic force microscopy. Because of atomic force microscopy's superior ability to image surface topology, this approach enabled visualization of the organization of possible underlying organic molecules involved in mineral structure formation. Diatom nanoscale silica structure varied greatly comparing the same feature in different species and different features within a single species, and frequently on different faces of the same object. These data indicate that there is not a strict relation between nanoscale silica morphology and the type of structure that contains it. On the mesoscale, there was a preponderance of linear structures regardless of the object imaged, suggesting that assembly or organization of linear organic molecules or subcellular assemblies that confine a linear space play an essential and conserved role in structure formation on that scale. Microscale structure imparted an overall influence over nano- and mesoscale structure, indicating that shaping of the silica deposition vesicle plays a key role in structure formation. These results provide insights into the design and assembly principles involved in diatom silica structure formation, facilitating an understanding of the native system and potentially aiding in development of biomimetic approaches.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
19659911
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"