Aspects of Biological Silicification

  • Carole C. Perry
  • Stephen Mann


This paper presents a unified view of silicified mineral formation within a unicellular organ. Analytical, biochemical and structural data are presented for hair cells from the lemma of the grass Phalaris canariensis L. Structural information is presented from electron microscopy, solid state nmr and nitrogen adsorption studies. Analytical data is provided by EDXA and SPM studies at different stages of development. Information on the changing nature of the secondary cell wall associated with the biomineral was obtained by in vivo radiochemical labelling with 14C glucose and 3H arabinose followed by graded acid hydrolysis and enzymatic degradation followed by chromatography. Mechanisms of structural organization are discussed in relation to spatial constraints, ordered particle aggregation and chemical regulation.


Hair Cell Hair Sample Secondary Cell Wall Biogenic Silica Chemical Regulation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carole C. Perry
    • 1
  • Stephen Mann
    • 2
  1. 1.Inorganic Chemistry LaboratoryOxfordGreat Britain
  2. 2.School of ChemistryUniversity of BathBathGreat Britain

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