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The growth of Nacre in Abalone : seasonal and feeding effects on the process of mineral formation


The processes of aggregation of mineral and organic materials to the growing surfaces in red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) are analyzed. The flat pearl implantation method is used to observe the transient stages of calcium carbonate deposition, the structure of the organic interlayer, and the steady-state growth of aragonite tiles. The morphology of the organic interlayer and the epithelium region are characterized by scanning electron microscopy. These results enable a realistic depiction of the formation of the terraced cones that comprise the principal biomineralization mechanism in this gastropod. The transition rate was compared in a normally fed and in a starved gastropod and found to be higher in the former. The effect of water temperature (or seasonal) was also established, growth proceeding faster in the summer (T̃ 21°C) than in winter at 15°C

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