Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Science. 2002 Sep 13;297(5588):1848-50.

A proton buffering role for silica in diatoms.

Author information

1
Department of Geosciences, Guyot Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.

Abstract

For 40 million years, diatoms have dominated the reverse weathering of silica on Earth. These photosynthetic protists take up dissolved silicic acid from the water and precipitate opaline silica to form their cell wall. We show that the biosilica of diatoms is an effective pH buffer, enabling the enzymatic conversion of bicarbonate to CO2, an important step in inorganic carbon acquisition by these organisms. Because diatoms are responsible for one-quarter of global primary production and for a large fraction of the carbon exported to the deep sea, the global cycles of Si and C may be linked mechanistically.

PMID:
12228711
DOI:
10.1126/science.1074958
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center