A Proton Buffering Role for Silica in Diatoms

@article{Milligan2002APB,
  title={A Proton Buffering Role for Silica in Diatoms},
  author={Allen J. Milligan and François M M Morel},
  journal={Science},
  year={2002},
  volume={297},
  pages={1848 - 1850}
}
For 40 million years, diatoms have dominated the reverse weathering of silica on Earth. These photosynthetic protists take up dissolved silicic acid from the water and precipitate opaline silica to form their cell wall. We show that the biosilica of diatoms is an effective pH buffer, enabling the enzymatic conversion of bicarbonate to CO2, an important step in inorganic carbon acquisition by these organisms. Because diatoms are responsible for one-quarter of global primary production and for a… 
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Biosilicification Drives a Decline of Dissolved Si in the Oceans through Geologic Time
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Diatoms-from cell wall biogenesis to nanotechnology.
TLDR
Analysis of the organic components associated with diatom silica, the development of techniques for molecular genetic manipulation of diatoms, and two diatom genome sequencing projects are providing insight into the composition and mechanism of the remarkable biosilica-forming machinery.
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