About this Research Topic
Biomineralization is the process by which marine organisms create elaborate yet conserved mineralized structures including algal coccoliths, diatom frustules, molluscan shells, arthropod cuticles, echinoderm stereoms and many others. Prior research efforts focused largely on the role of extracellular macromolecules or their complexes in the control of nucleation and mineral growth. Over the past several years there has been increased attention given to the cellular biology of marine biomineralization. These studies have benefitted from recent advancements in cellular imaging and genomics, among other techniques. At this point, there is a need to reevaluate earlier proposed mechanisms in light of these newer studies and approaches. Potential topic areas include but are not limited to the following questions: What is the cellular involvement in the synthesis, assembly and delivery of inorganic and organic components of biomineral to the mineralization front? How and where does nucleation occur within specialized compartments of cells? What are the processes by which cells deliver inorganic ions for mineral growth? What regulatory processes are involved in the control of biomineralization? What novel techniques can be applied to understand the cellular events at the mineralization front? What among the diversity of cellular processes and cell products involved in biomineralization are the result of convergent or divergent evolution? Within this research topic, we seek contributions from the broadest community of researchers who are studying cell-based processes involved in biomineralization by marine organisms. All approaches are welcome, including theoretical or empirical studies and model-data comparisons. A focus of this topic will be articles containing original research, including those that present the application of new methods. Opinion and review articles are also encouraged. In order to make original research studies more available to a broad readership, it is preferred that these articles include expanded introductions and attempt to develop updated visual models in the discussion.
Image legend: Prismatic crystals forming on oyster periostracum with hemocyte involvement
Photo Credit: Joshua Mount
Keywords: cellular, biomineralization, pathways, marine organisms, coccoliths
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