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Figure 13 | BMC Structural Biology

Figure 13

From: The structure of mollusc larval shells formed in the presence of the chitin synthase inhibitor Nikkomycin Z

Figure 13

Rare phenotypes of larval shell inner surfaces synthesized in the presence of NikkomycinZ. Scanning electron microscopy images of characteristic inner shell surface features that were observed repeatedly, but exclusively each in one particular larva. a. The inner shell surface of a 5 day old larva grown in the presence of 10 μM NikkomycinZ from the 2nd day on exhibited "ice-flower" like structures. These characteristic structures were distributed all over the shell. b. As demonstrated by the higher magnification view of (a), the borderless transition between the "ice-flowers" and the surrounding flat shell regions exclude the possibility of recrystallization artefacts introduced by sample preparation. c. "Rosette-like" structures as shown here were found distributed all over the inner shell surface of a 22 day old larva that had been treated with 10 μM NikkomycinZ for 10 days. d. Higher magnification view of (c) reveals that the observed "rosettes" can not be assigned to etching by deionised water due to their direct integration into the larval shell surface. Note that none of the described features or anything comparable was observed in larvae without NikkomycinZ treatment. These rare, individual specific, but characteristic shell features may be indicative for a link between chitin synthase inhibition by NikkomycinZ and additional biomineralization factors. These data suggest that the investigated individuals may have non-lethal mutations in one or more of the additional biomineralization genes.

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