Crystallographic texture of Late Triassic gastropod nacre: evidence of long-term stability of the mechanism controlling its formation


Authors: Frýda J, Bandel K, Frýdová B

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 84, issue 4; pages: 747 - 756; Received 30 October 2009; Accepted in revised form 9 December 2009; Online 18 December 2009

Keywords: Gastropoda, nacre, crystallographic texture, time stability,

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An analysis of the crystallographic texture of nacre (mother-of-pearl) in the Late Triassic gastropod Wortheniella coralliophila is presented. The primary aim of this study was to test the time stability of the crystallographic texture pattern of gastropod nacre over an extremely long time span. Our results show that the crystallographic axes of individual aragonite platelets in the Late Triassic Wortheniella coralliophila have an identical arrangement to those in living vetigastropods. The same microstructure as well as the crystallographic texture of nacre in Recent and Late Triassic gastropods implies the same biological mechanisms for its formation. Our study suggests that the proteins controlling the shape and orientation of individual nacreous platelets in living gastropods have not changed since the Late Triassic. The molecular mechanisms driving the origin and the development of gastropod nacre are thus extremely old and have remained unchanged for at least 220 million years.


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