The relationships between form and function in nature have been the focus of attention for centuries. Nevertheless, we still are in the dark in our understanding of the transmission of the genetic information related to the form of biological structures. Since 1974, Amblema plicata perplicata Conrad 1834, has provided us with a good model to study the role of the free periostracum. The periostracum carries out, without any contact with the cells of the mantle, a complex multi-structural organization at the edge of the forming shell. A dynamic and elaborate system of matrix/crystal relationships is described for the nacre formation as well as for the prism formation. This system can be disrupted and altered experimentally. Such temporary disorganization accordingly modifies the physical properties of the shell.


Outer Layer Middle Layer Innermost Layer Proteinaceous Material Nacreous Layer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henri Petit
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OrthodonticsBaylor College of DentistryDallasUSA

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