Ultrastructure, chemistry and mineralogy of the growing shell of the European abalone Haliotis tuberculata

TitleUltrastructure, chemistry and mineralogy of the growing shell of the European abalone Haliotis tuberculata
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsAuzoux-Bordenave, S, Badou, A, Gaume, B, Berland, S, Helleouet, M-N, Milet, C, Huchette, S
JournalJournal of Structural Biology

An integrated study of shell formation was initiated covering the entire life cycle of the marine gastropod Haliotis tuberculata. Shell microstructure, chemistry and mineralogy were investigated by polarized microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX) and infra-red (IR) spectroscopy. SEM images of trochophore and veliger larvae showed the different stages of shell growth from the initial shell field to the late calcified protoconch. Cross-sections revealed the microstructural arrangement of biominerals, showing the progressive mineralization of the organic protoconch prior to metamorphosis. To gain more information on mineralogical composition, EDX analyses and IR spectroscopy were performed along the development stages. The results demonstrated that early protoconch was mostly composed of amorphous calcium carbonate, while veliger stages showed a gradually crystallization under the form of aragonite. Post-metamorphic shell contained two distinct parts, the original protoconch supporting the new juvenile shell characterized by a marked sculptural pattern. The shells from post-larval and juvenile abalones were essentially made of aragonite. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.