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Issue 3, 2008
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Biofabrication of biosilica-glass by living organisms

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Covering: up to 2007

Biosilicification is an evolutionarily old and widespread type of biomineralization both in unicellular and multicellular organisms, including sponges, diatoms, radiolarians, choanoflagellates, and higher plants. In the last few years combined efforts in molecular biology, cell biology, and inorganic and analytical chemistry have allowed the first insight into the molecular mechanisms by which these organisms form an astonishing variety of siliceous structures that cannot be achieved by chemical methods. Here we report about the present stage of knowledge on structure, biochemical composition, and mechanisms of biosilica formation, focusing our attention particularly on sponges because of the enormous (nano)biotechnological potential of the enzymes involved in this process.

Graphical abstract: Biofabrication of biosilica-glass by living organisms

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Article information

15 Jan 2008
First published
08 Apr 2008

Nat. Prod. Rep., 2008,25, 455-474
Article type
Review Article

Biofabrication of biosilica-glass by living organisms

H. C. Schröder, X. Wang, W. Tremel, H. Ushijima and W. E. G. Müller, Nat. Prod. Rep., 2008, 25, 455
DOI: 10.1039/B612515H

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