Physiological and ecological significance of biomineralization in plants

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Abstract

Biomineralization is widespread in the plant kingdom. The most common types of biominerals in plants are calcium oxalate crystals, calcium carbonate, and silica. Functions of biominerals may depend on their shape, size, abundance, placement, and chemical composition. In this review we highlight advances in understanding physiological and ecological significance of biomineralization in plants. We focus on the functions of biomineralization in regulating cytoplasmic free calcium levels, detoxifying aluminum and heavy metals, light gathering and scattering to optimize photosynthesis, aiding in pollen release, germination, and tube growth, the roles it plays in herbivore deterrence, biogeochemical cycling of carbon, calcium, and silicon, and sequestering atmospheric CO2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-174
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

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