Chapter 17. Fish Otolith Calcification in Relation to Endolymph Chemistry

  1. Prof. Dr. Edmund Bäuerlein
  1. Denis Allemand,
  2. Nicole Mayer-Gostan,
  3. Hélène De Pontual,
  4. Gilles Boeuf and
  5. Patrick Payan

Published Online: 20 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9783527619443.ch17

Handbook of Biomineralization: Biological Aspects and Structure Formation

Handbook of Biomineralization: Biological Aspects and Structure Formation

How to Cite

Allemand, D., Mayer-Gostan, N., De Pontual, H., Boeuf, G. and Payan, P. (2007) Fish Otolith Calcification in Relation to Endolymph Chemistry, in Handbook of Biomineralization: Biological Aspects and Structure Formation (ed E. Bäuerlein), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527619443.ch17

Editor Information

  1. Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Department of Membrane Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18 A, 82152 Planegg, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 MAR 2008
  2. Published Print: 25 MAY 2007

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527316410

Online ISBN: 9783527619443

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Keywords:

  • otolith;
  • fish;
  • acellular calcification;
  • endolymph;
  • saccular epithelium;
  • ion supply;
  • organic matrix;
  • biological archives;
  • nychthemeral cycle;
  • factor retarding calcification (FRC);
  • environmental control;
  • thermogravimetry

Summary

Otoliths are paired calcified (aragonite) structures used for the maintenance of equilibrium and hearing in all teleost fishes. They are considered as biological archives and, as such, are routinely used for the management of fish population. Otolith formation results from a biomineralization process taking place in a large acellular compartment, the endolymph, and therefore represents a model by which to analyze intermediate steps between cells and the mineral. This chapter reviews the role of this acellular compartment in the control of otolith growth, and in particular on the respective role of ionic versus organic parameters. This compartment fulfils the three roles involved in the biomineralization process: (i) the supply of the appropriate macromolecules constituting the organic matrix; (ii) the supply of the ionic environment necessary for controlled calcification; and (iii) a spatio-temporal control leading to the formation of 3-D mineralized structure. In conclusion, major unresolved questions and future research directions are outlined.