Section 5
Chapter 4,711

Amino acid survey of recent calcareous and siliceous deep sea micro fossils

King, K.Jr

Micropaleontology (New York) 23(2): 180-193


ISSN/ISBN: 0026-2803
Accession: 004710176

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A proteinaceous organic matrix has been found in all Recent deep-sea microfossils analyzed. In addition to previously reported planktonic Foraminifera and Radiolaria data, amino acid analyses for representative species of 4 additional calcareous groups (benthonic foraminifera, pteropods, ostracods and coccoliths) and 3 additional siliceous groups (diatoms, sponge spicules, opal phytoliths) are reported and statistically compared for degree of relatedness. Calcareous microfossils generally exhibit significantly higher aspartic acid/glycine ratios than the siliceous forms. This compositional difference may be a significant factor in determining the skeletal mineral. Although the calcareous microfossils of unicellular structure show a high degree of relatedness, the amino acid composition of the siliceous groups correlates strongly with kingdom (plant vs. animal) rather than with structural plan. These data broaden the applicability of the amino acid technique to include most biogenic components of deep-sea sediments for evolutionary, geochronological, biomineralization and diagenetic studies.

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