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      X-ray nanotomography of coccolithophores reveals that coccolith mass and segment number correlate with grid size

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          Abstract

          Coccolithophores of the Noëlaerhabdaceae family are covered by imbricated coccoliths, each composed of multiple calcite crystals radially distributed around the periphery of a grid. The factors that determine coccolith size remain obscure. Here, we used synchrotron-based three-dimensional Coherent X-ray Diffraction Imaging to study coccoliths of 7 species of Gephyrocapsa, Emiliania and Reticulofenestra with a resolution close to 30 nm. Segmentation of 45 coccoliths revealed remarkable size, mass and segment number variations, even within single coccospheres. In particular, we observed that coccolith mass correlates with grid perimeter which scales linearly with crystal number. Our results indirectly support the idea that coccolith mass is determined in the coccolith vesicle by the size of the organic base plate scale (OBPS) around which R-unit nucleation occurs every 110–120 nm. The curvation of coccoliths allows inference of a positive correlation between cell nucleus, OBPS and coccolith sizes.

          Abstract

          Coccolithophores are one of the most abundant phytoplankton and calcifying organisms, well-known to produce intricate calcareous exoskeletons made of coccoliths. Here the authors show, by using X-ray nanotomography, the dependence of the grid size on the calcite nucleation site number and on the mass of coccoliths.

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          Environmental Limits to Coral Reef Development: Where Do We Draw the Line?

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            Ocean model predictions of chemistry changes from carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere and ocean

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              Phytoplankton calcification in a high-CO2 world.

              Ocean acidification in response to rising atmospheric CO2 partial pressures is widely expected to reduce calcification by marine organisms. From the mid-Mesozoic, coccolithophores have been major calcium carbonate producers in the world's oceans, today accounting for about a third of the total marine CaCO3 production. Here, we present laboratory evidence that calcification and net primary production in the coccolithophore species Emiliania huxleyi are significantly increased by high CO2 partial pressures. Field evidence from the deep ocean is consistent with these laboratory conclusions, indicating that over the past 220 years there has been a 40% increase in average coccolith mass. Our findings show that coccolithophores are already responding and will probably continue to respond to rising atmospheric CO2 partial pressures, which has important implications for biogeochemical modeling of future oceans and climate.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                tbeuvier@yahoo.fr
                alain.gibaud@univ-lemans.fr
                Journal
                Nat Commun
                Nat Commun
                Nature Communications
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2041-1723
                14 February 2019
                14 February 2019
                2019
                : 10
                : 751
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0384 9149, GRID grid.493280.4, LUNAM, IMMM, UMR 6283 CNRS, Faculté des Sciences, ; 72085 Le MANS Cedex 09, France
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0641 6373, GRID grid.5398.7, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, ; 71, avenue des Martyrs, 38000 Grenoble, France
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2203 0006, GRID grid.464101.6, Sorbonne Université / CNRS, , Roscoff Culture Collection, FR2424, Station Biologique de Roscoff, Place Georges Teissier, ; 29680 Roscoff, France
                [4 ]ISNI 0000 0001 0845 4216, GRID grid.498067.4, Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, IRD, INRA, Coll France, CEREGE, ; Aix-en-Provence, France
                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4458-1658
                Article
                8635
                10.1038/s41467-019-08635-x
                6375944
                30765698
                87c5d478-a1e1-4581-9ced-37cc30127a8a
                © The Author(s) 2019

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                History
                : 20 January 2018
                : 16 January 2019
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