Journal article

Divalent cations stabilize the aggregation of sulfated glycoproteins in the adhesive nanofibers of the biofouling diatom Toxarium undulatum

Anthony Chiovitti, Philip Heraud, Tony M Dugdale, Oliver M Hodson, Roger CA Curtain, Raymond R Dagastine, Bayden R Wood, Richard Wetherbee

SOFT MATTER | ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY | Published : 2008

Abstract

A species of marine diatom, Toxarium undulatum, has emerged as a problematic biofouler of contemporary environmentally benign marine coatings. Previous analyses by atomic force microscopy (AFM) showed the cell-substratum adhesive of this alga contained macromolecules with a modular protein backbone assembled into nanofibers in which the domains of the macromolecules folded and unfolded in a co-ordinated manner. In the present study, we investigated further the composition and properties of the adhesive. A combination of energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDXA) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy showed that the adhesive contained mainly protein, carbohydrate, sulfate, calcium, ..

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