Coral Reefs

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 149–156 | Cite as

Antibodies against the organic matrix in scleractinians: a new tool to study coral biomineralization

  • Sandrine Puverel
  • Eric Tambutté
  • Didier Zoccola
  • Isabelle Domart-Coulon
  • André Bouchot
  • Séverine Lotto
  • Denis Allemand
  • Sylvie TambuttéEmail author


Soluble organic matrix (SOM) synthesis and secretion were investigated in two scleractinian corals using antibodies raised against this organic matrix. Results demonstrate that even if other cell types, including zooxanthellae, can supply precursors for SOM synthesis, only calicoblastic cells facing the skeleton are directly responsible for the synthesis and secretion of the SOM components. Results also indicate that, as is the case for other biominerals, skeleton formation is biologically controlled and not chemically dominated as originally believed. In addition to advancing the understanding of mechanisms of coral biomineralization, these antibodies could have numerous applications: for example as markers of skeletogenesis, as tools for cell culture, and in comparative studies among calcifying organisms.


Biomineralization Calcification Coral skeleton Immunolabeling Organic matrix Coral cell culture 



We are grateful to Dominique Desgré for coral maintenance. We thank Professor Ramon Serrano from the University of Valencia for providing the membrane antibody. We thank Professor Jean-Pierre Cuif from the University of Orsay (Paris), Professor Patrick Payan from the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Dr Lucilia Pereira-Mouriès and Dr Marshall Hayes for fruitful discussions and improvements to the manuscript. This study was conducted as part of the Centre Scientifique de Monaco 2000–2004 research program, supported by the Government of the Principality of Monaco.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandrine Puverel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eric Tambutté
    • 1
  • Didier Zoccola
    • 1
  • Isabelle Domart-Coulon
    • 1
  • André Bouchot
    • 1
  • Séverine Lotto
    • 1
  • Denis Allemand
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sylvie Tambutté
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre Scientifique de Monacoav. St MartinMonaco
  2. 2.Faculté des sciencesUMR 1112 UNSA-INRANice cedex 2France

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