, Volume 166, Issue 1–2, pp 89–98

Specialized calciferous cells in the marine algaRhodogorgon carriebowensis and their implications for models of red algal calcification

  • C. M. Pueschel
  • H. H. Eichelberger
  • H. N. Trick


Calcification inRhodogorgon carriebowensis J. Norris et Bucher was associated with a particular cell type in the cortex. Calciferous cells were 4–6 times the length of cortical assimilatory cells. The distal two-thirds of the calcifying cell was invested with a thick wall that stained with periodic acid Schiff. Thick fibrils formed a reticulum and surrounded grains of calcium carbonate that ranged in shape from rhombohedral to subspherical and were up to 200 nm in greatest dimension. The proximal third of the cell was a tapering uncalcified stalk. The narrow base of the cell was attached to the subtending cell of the fascicle by a normal septum with a pit plug. The cell within the calcified wall matrix was usually flattened and had a very small volume. Cellular contents were dense; even when organelles could be discerned, they could not be identified. X-ray microanalysis revealed that other elements commonly found mixed with calcium carbonate are virtually absent from mineral deposits inR. carriebowensis, but electron diffraction study showed d-spacings that varied from those of pure calcite. Current models of red algal calcification are discussed in light of the findings on this alga.


Calcification Calcium carbonate Rhodogorgon Red algae 



calcium carbonate


differential interference contrast


periodic acid Schiff


scanning electron microscopy


transmission electron microscopy


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. M. Pueschel
    • 1
  • H. H. Eichelberger
    • 1
  • H. N. Trick
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesState University of New York at BinghamtonBinghamtonUSA

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