Advertisement

Composition and Association of Organic Matter with Calcium Carbonate and the Origin of Calcification

  • Richard M. Mitterer

Abstract

Calcium carbonate is uniquely and characteristically associated with aspartic acid-rich (asp-rich) organic matter as an internal organic matrix and as an adsorbed phase. In addition to its adsorptive preference for carbonate surfaces, asp-rich organic matter also binds calcium ions in aqueous solution. Conversely, non-carbonate sediments are characterized by organic matter that is depleted in aspartic acid. Quartz preferentially adsorbs an asp-poor organic component. These properties indicate that asp-rich organic matter plays a significant role in controlling the nucleation and crystal growth of calcium carbonate in biological and abiological systems.

The development of calcification in the latest Precambrian-Early Cambrian represents a milestone evolutionary event. The subsequent fossil record, greatly enriched by the presence of these readily preserved calcareous skeletons, contains pulses of major extinctions. These two biological events — calcification and extinctions — are related here in a new hypothesis that provides a common explanation for both. The key to the hypothesis is a recent finding that calcification in modern marine organisms requires a minimum level of strontium in ambient seawater. Thus, the development of calcification may have been triggered when a critical level of strontium in the oceans was reached. Subsequent periodic decreases in the oceanic concentration of strontium may have been responsible for marine invertebrate extinctions.

Keywords

Aspartic Acid Fulvic Acid Calcium Carbonate Organic Matrix Carbonate Sediment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. ARMSTRONG, R.L., 1971. Glacial erosion and the variable isotopic composition of strontium in seawater. Nature, 230:132–133.Google Scholar
  2. BIDWELL, J.P., PAIGE, J.A. and KUZIRIAN, A.M., 1986. Effects of strontium on the embryonic development ofAplysia californica. Biol. Bull., 170:75–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. BRASS, G.W., 1976. The variation of marine 87Sr/86Sr ratio during Phanerozoic time: Interpretation using a fluxmodel. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 40:721–730.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. BURKE, W.H., DENISON, RE., HEE, A., KOEPNICK, R.B., NELSON, I.F., and OTTO, J.B., 1982 Variation of seawater Sr/ Sr throughout Phanerozoic time. Geology, 10:516–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. CARTER, P.W., 1978. Adsorption of amino acid-containing organic matter by calcite and quartz. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 42:1239–1242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. CARTER, P.W. and MTRER, R.M., 1978. Amino acid composition of organic matter associated with carbonate and non-carbonate sediments. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 42:1231–1238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. CRAVE, K.E., 1965. Calcium carbonate: Association with organic matter in surface seawater. Science. 148:1723–1724.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. CRENSHAW, M.A., 1972. The soluble matrix from Mercenaria mercenaria shell. Biomineralization. 6:6–11.Google Scholar
  9. CUNNINGHAM, R. and MITTERER, R.M., 1980. Metal binding study of fulvic acids from carbonate sediments using manganese as a magnetic resonance probe. In Biogeochemistry of Amino Acids (ed. P.E. Hare, T.C. Hoering and K. King, Jr.,), pp. 129–143. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  10. DEGENS, E.T., 1976. Molecular mechanisms on carbonate, phosphate and silica deposition in the living cell. Top. Curr. Chem., 64:1–112.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. DEGENS, E.T. and SPENCER, D.W., 1966. Data file on amino acid distribution in calcified and non-calcified tissues of shell-forming organisms. Tech. Rep. 66–27, Woods Hole Oceanogr. Inst., unpubl. manu.Google Scholar
  12. DEGENS, E.T., SPENCER, D.W. and PARKER, R.H., 1967. Paleobiochemistry of molluscan shell proteins. Comp. Biochem. Physiol., 20:553–579.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. GALLAGER, S.M., BIDWELL, J.P. and KUZIRIAN, A.M., 1988. Strontium is required in artificial seawater for embryonic shell formation in two species of bivalve molluscs. In The Origin, Evolution and Modern Aspects of Biomineralization in Plants and Animals (ed. R. E. Crick). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  14. HARE, P.E., 1963. Amino acids in the proteins from aragonite and calcite in the shells of Mytilus californianus. Science, 139:216–217.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. HARE, P.E. and ABELSON, P. H., 1964. Proteins in mollusk shells. Carnegie Inst. Washington Yearbook, 63:267–270.Google Scholar
  16. HOLLAND, H.D., 1984. The Chemical Evolution of the Atmosphere and Oceans. 528 pp. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  17. KETO, L.S. and JACOBSEN, S.B., 1985. The causes of ß7Sr/8óSrvariations in seawater of the past 750 million years. Abst. Prog., Geol. Soc. Amer. Ann. Meet., 628.Google Scholar
  18. LOWENSTAM, H.A., 1981. Minerals formed by organisms. Science, 211:1126–1131.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. LOWENSTAM, H.A. and Weiner, S., 1983. Mineralization by organisms and the evolution of biomineralization. In Biomineralization and Biological Metal Accumulation (ed. P. Westbrook and E. W. de Jong), pp. 191–203. Boston: D. Reidel.Google Scholar
  20. MILLIMAN, J.D., 1974. Marine Carbonates, 375 p. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  21. MITTERER, R.M., 1968. Amino acid composition of organic matrix in calcareous oolites. Science, 162:1498–1499.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. MRER, R.M., 1971a. Influence of natural organic matter on CaCO3 precipitation. In Carbonate Cements (ed. O.P. Bricker), pp. 252–258. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  23. MITTERER, R.M., 1971b. Comparative amino acid composition of calcified and non-calcified polychaete worm tubes. Comp. Biochem. Physiol., 38b:405–509.Google Scholar
  24. MITTERER, R.M., 1972a. Biogeochemistry of aragonite mud and oolites. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 36:1407–1422.Google Scholar
  25. MITTERER, R.M., 1972b. Calcified proteins in the sedimentary environment. In Advances in Organic Geochemistry 1971 (ed. H.R. von Gaertner and H. Wehner), pp. 441–451. Oxford: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  26. MITTERER, R.M., 1978. Amino acid composition and metal binding capability of the skeletal protein of corals. Bull. Mar. Sci., 28:173–180.Google Scholar
  27. MI I ERER, R. M. and CARTER, P.W., 1977. Some analytical and experimental data on organic-carbonate interactions. Proc. 3rd Inter. Coral Reef Sym., 2:541–547.Google Scholar
  28. MITTERER, RM. and CUNNINGHAM, R., 1985. The interaction of natural organic matter with grain surfaces: Implications for calcium carbonate precipitation. In Carbonate cements, Spec. Publ. No. 36, (ed. N. Schneidermann and P.M. Harris), pp. 17–31. Tulsa: Soc. Econ. Paleontol. Mineral.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. MUTVEI, H., 1970. Ultrastructure of the mineral and organic components of molluscan nacreous layers. Biomineralization, 2:48–72.Google Scholar
  30. PETERMAN, Z.E., HEDGE, C.E. and TOURTELOT, H.A., 1970. Isotopic composition of strontium in seawater throughout Phanerozoic time. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 34:105–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. RAUP, D.M. and SEPKOSKI, J.J., Jr., 1982. Mass extinctions in the marine fossil record. Science, 215:1501–1503.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. RAUP, D.M. and SEPKOSKI, J.J., Jr., 1986. Periodic extinction of families and genera. Science, 231:833–836.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. TOWE, K.M., and HAMILTON, G.H., 1968. Ultrastructure and inferred calcification of the mature and developing nacre in bivalve mollusks. Calc. Tiss. Res., 1:306–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. TRICHET, J., 1969. Etude de la composition de la fraction organique des oolites: Comparaison avec celle des membranes des bactéries et des cyanophycées. Comptes Rendus des seances de l’Academic des Sciences, Paris, 267:1492–1494. 87–86Google Scholar
  35. VEIZER, J. and COMPSTON, W., 1974. Sr/ Sr composition of seawater during the Phanerozoic. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 38:1461–1484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. VEIZER, J., COMPSTON, W., CLAUER, N., and SCHIDLOWSKI, M., 1983. 87Sr/86Sr in Late Proterozoic carbonates: evidence for a “mantle” event at —900 Ma ago. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 47:295–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. WADLEIGH, M.A., VEIZER, J., and BROOKS, C., 1985. Strontium and its isotopes in Canadian rivers: Fluxes and global implications. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 49:1727–1736.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. WATABE, N., 1965. Studies on shell formation: Crystal-matrix relationships in the inner layers of mollusk shells. J. Ultrastr. Res., 12:351–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. WEINER, S., 1979. Aspartic acid-rich proteins: Major components of the soluble organic matrix of mollusk shells. Cale. Tiss. Intern., 29:163–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. WEINER, S. and HOOD, L., 1975. Soluble protein of the organic matrix of mollusk shells: A potential template for shell formation. Science, 190:987–989.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. WEINER, S., TRAUB, W. and LOWENSTAM, H.A., 1983. Organic matrix in calcified exoskeletons. In Biomineralization and Biological Metal Accumulation (ed. P. Westbrook and E.W. de Jong), pp. 205–224. Boston: D. Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard M. Mitterer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeosciencesUniversity of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA

Personalised recommendations