Analysis of organo-silica interactions during valve formation in synchronously growing cells of the diatom Navicula pelliculosa

Alejandro Heredia*, Han J. van der Strate, Ivonne Delgadillo, Vladimir A. Basiuk, Engel G. Vrieling

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

23 Citaten (Scopus)


Biologically formed silica is produced at ambient conditions under the control of molecular and physicochemical processes that are apparently integrated in biosilica morphogenesis, but the mechanisms are not yet fully understood. With the recent identification of small polypeptides and proteins that ore encapsulated inside the biosilica and functional in silica polymerization in vitro, it is of importance to determine whether interactions between inorganic silica species and these organic compounds occur in vivo. A time-resolved analysis of valve formation in synchronously growing cells of the diatom species Navicula pelliculosa enabled us to characterize the relevant chemical bonds by attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transformed infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. Typically, inorganic bonds of Si-O-Si (bands at 1058, 843cm(-1)), Si-OH (3689 cm(-1)), and P = O (7239cm(-1)) and organic bonds of proteinaceous matter (with the amide/ and // bands at 1642 and 1543 cm(-1), respectively) were positively identified during one cycle of valve formation. The observed variations in FTIR band intensity and location represented specific interactions between organic and inorganic molecules during the major silicification event, during which stretching of the Si-O bonds was predominantly noticed. The experimentally obtained frequencies (v) of the major bonds corresponded to those that were obtained by MM+ and PM3 FTIR simulations for organo-silica interactions based on biomolecules that are proposed to be involved in biosilica formation. The results indicated that hydrogen bonds originated from interactions, albeit weak, between organic phosphate or amine groups to the inorganic hydroxyl groups or oxygen atoms from the silicic acid and/or silica. The existence of covalent P-O-Si bonds and electrostatic interactions could not be excluded. These interactions clearly suggest that biomolecules actively contribute to the silica polymerization process during valve formation in N. pelliculosa, and also might act comparably in other diatoms species in which similar biomolecules hove been identified.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)573-584
Aantal pagina's12
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
StatusPublished - 3-mrt.-2008


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