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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-356
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-356
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  23 Sep 2019

23 Sep 2019

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal BG and is expected to appear here in due course.

Carbonic anhydrase is involved in benthic foraminiferal calcification

Siham de Goeyse1, Alice E. Webb1, Gert-Jan Reichart1,2, and Lennart J. de Nooijer1 Siham de Goeyse et al.
  • 1Department of Ocean Systems, NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and Utrecht University, Texel, the Netherlands
  • 2Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Abstract. Marine calcification is an important component of the global carbon cycle. The mechanism by which some organisms take up inorganic carbon for the production of their shells or skeletons, however, remains only partly known. Although foraminifera are responsible for a large part of the global calcium carbonate production, the process by which they concentrate inorganic carbon is debated. Some evidence suggests that seawater is taken up and participates relatively unaltered in the process of calcification, whereas other results suggest the involvement of transmembrane transport and the activity of enzymes like carbonic anhydrase. Here, we tested whether inorganic carbon uptake relies on the activity of carbonic anhydrase using incubation experiments with the large benthic, symbiont-bearing foraminifer Amphistegina lessonii. Calcification rates, determined by the alkalinity anomaly method, showed that inhibition of carbonic anhydrase by acetazolamide (AZ) stopped most of the calcification process. Inhibition of photosynthesis by either 3-(3,4-Dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea (DCMU) or by incubating the foraminifera in the dark, also decreased calcification rates, but to a lesser degree than with AZ. Results from this study show that carbonic anhydrase plays a key role in biomineralization of Amphistegina lessonii and indicates that calcification of those large benthic foraminifera might, to a certain extent, benefit from ocean acidification.

Siham de Goeyse et al.

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Siham de Goeyse et al.

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De Goeyse S. S. De Goeyse, A. Webb, G.-J. Reichart, and L. de Nooijer https://doi.org/10.4121/uuid:afcdcdc1-2591-4822-bade-806119cdd724

Siham de Goeyse et al.

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Short summary
Foraminifera are calcifying organism that play a role in the marine inorganic carbon cycle and are widely used to reconstruct paleoclimates. However, the fundamental process by which they calcify remains essentially unknown. Here we use inhibitors to show that an enzyme is speeding up the dehydration of bicarbonate into CO2. This helps the foraminifera acquire sufficient carbon for calcification and might aid their tolerance to elevated CO2 level.
Foraminifera are calcifying organism that play a role in the marine inorganic carbon cycle and...
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