The role of aspartic acid in reducing coral calcification under ocean acidification conditions
MetadataShow full item record
Biomolecules play key roles in regulating the precipitation of CaCO3 biominerals but their response to ocean acidification is poorly understood. We analysed the skeletal intracrystalline amino acids of massive, tropical Porites spp. corals cultured over different seawater pCO2. We find that concentrations of total amino acids, aspartic acid/asparagine (Asx), glutamic acid/glutamine and alanine are positively correlated with seawater pCO2 and inversely correlated with seawater pH. Almost all variance in calcification rates between corals can be explained by changes in the skeletal total amino acid, Asx, serine and alanine concentrations combined with the calcification media pH (a likely indicator of the dissolved inorganic carbon available to support calcification). We show that aspartic acid inhibits aragonite precipitation from seawater in vitro, at the pH, saturation state and approximate aspartic acid concentrations inferred to occur at the coral calcification site. Reducing seawater saturation state and increasing [aspartic acid], as occurs in some corals at high pCO2, both serve to increase the degree of inhibition, indicating that biomolecules may contribute to reduced coral calcification rates under ocean acidification.
Kellock , C , Cole , C , Penkman , K , Evans , D , Kroger , R , Hintz , C , Hintz , K , Finch , A & Allison , N 2020 , ' The role of aspartic acid in reducing coral calcification under ocean acidification conditions ' , Scientific Reports , vol. 10 , 12797 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69556-0
Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. 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/.
DescriptionFunding: Leverhulme Trust (Research project grant 2015-268 to NA, RK, and KP) and the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NE/G015791/1 to NA and AF).
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.