Synchrotron X-ray studies of the keel of the short-spined sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus: Absorption microtomography (microCT) and small beam diffraction mapping

S. R. Stock*, J. Barss, T. Dahl, A. Veis, J. D. Almer, F. De Carlo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

In sea urchin teeth, the keel plays an important structural role, and this paper reports results of microstructural characterization of the keel of Lytechinus variegatus using two noninvasive synchrotron x-ray techniques: x-ray absorption microtomography (microCT) and x-ray diffraction mapping. MicroCT with 14 keV x-rays mapped the spatial distribution of mineral at the 1.3 μm level in a millimeter-sized fragment of a mature portion of the keel. Two rows of low absorption channels (i.e., primary channels) slightly less than 10 μm in diameter were found running linearly from the flange to the base of the keel and parallel to its sides. The primary channels paralleled the oral edge of the keel, and the microCT slices revealed a planar secondary channel leading from each primary channel to the side of the keel. The primary and secondary channels were more or less coplanar and may correspond to the soft tissue between plates of the carinar process. Transmission x-ray diffraction with 80.8 keV x-rays and a 0.1 mm beam mapped the distribution of calcite crystal orientations and the composition Ca1-xMgxCO3 of the calcite. Unlike the variable Mg concentration and highly curved prisms found in the keel of Paracentrotus lividus, a constant Mg content (x = 0.13) and relatively little prism curvature was found in the keel of Lytechinus variegatus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-566
Number of pages12
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Volume72
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2003

Keywords

  • Lytechinus variegatus
  • Microtomography (microCT)
  • Sea urchin
  • Synchrotron radiation
  • Tooth
  • X-ray diffraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology

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