Biocalcification of Corals and their Response to Global Climate Change

M Rahman, Ryuichi Shinjo
The response of calcifying marine organisms, especially from corals-arguably among the most biologically diverse and ecologically important ecosystems on the planet-could have a potential mitigating role in buffering atmospheric CO 2. Here we report that the organic substances that participate in biocalcification in coral skeletons contain a carbonic anhydrase (CA) enzyme which is a biological catalyst responsible for the interconversion of CO 2 and bicarbonate. Also, it appears that the
more » ... l physiological condition of the body of corals has precisely evolved to respond to external environmental conditions. We find that the CA in the organic matrix acts as "keys" to control those internal conditions to enable a response to external environmental change. This study of biocalcification process can be used as a tool for understanding coral mineralization in nature and global climate change, and also has implications for CO 2 capture from the atmosphere.