Structural Control of Crystal Nuclei by an Eggshell Protein


  • We wish to thank the EPSRC for support under grants GR/S80103, GR/S80127, and EP/F055471/1, and Martyn Foster (Cray Research Ltd) and Ilian Todorov (Daresbury Laboratory) for help in adapting codes to HECToR. All authors contributed equally to this work.


original image

Growing a good egg: Metadynamics simulations show that the eggshell protein ovocleidin-17 induces the formation of calcite crystals from amorphous calcium carbonate nanoparticles. Multiple spontaneous crystallization and amorphization events were simulated; these simulations suggest a catalytic cycle that explains the role of ovocleidin-17 in the first stages of eggshell formation (the picture shows one intermediate of this cycle).