Minerals in the pre-settled coral Stylophora pistillata crystallize via protein and ion changes

Anat Akiva, Maayan Neder, Keren Kahil, Rotem Gavriel, Iddo Pinkas, Gil Goobes, Tali Mass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aragonite skeletons in corals are key contributors to the storage of atmospheric CO2 worldwide. Hence, understanding coral biomineralization/calcification processes is crucial for evaluating and predicting the effect of environmental factors on this process. While coral biomineralization studies have focused on adult corals, the exact stage at which corals initiate mineralization remains enigmatic. Here, we show that minerals are first precipitated as amorphous calcium carbonate and small aragonite crystallites, in the pre-settled larva, which then evolve into the more mature aragonitic fibers characteristic of the stony coral skeleton. The process is accompanied by modulation of proteins and ions within these minerals. These findings may indicate an underlying bimodal regulation tactic adopted by the animal, with important ramification to its resilience or vulnerability toward a changing environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1880
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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