Skip to main content

The Crystallography and Possible Origin of Barium Sulphate in Deep Sea Rhizopod Protists (Xenophyophorea)

  • J.D. Hopwood (a1), S. Mann (a1) and A.J. Gooday (a2)

Xenophyophores are a group of giant deep sea protists characterized by intracellular barium sulphate (BaSO4) crystals. X-ray diffraction, electron diffraction and electron microscopy studies have been performed on barium sulphate crystals from three xenophyophore species (Aschemonella ramuliformis, Reticulammina labyrinthica, Galatheammina lamina) obtained at bathyal and abyssal depths in the north-eastern Atlantic. Two populations of crystals were observed. The first were tablets, ~2μm in length and rhombic or hexagonal in outline. In both cases, the tabular face was of index (100). The second population consisted of much smaller particles (<0·5 μm) of poor crystallinity. A comparison of the larger xenophyophore crystals with synthetically grown crystals indicated that the former probably grew at low supersaturation (S<25) in solutions of low to moderate ionic strength (I<l·0 M). Some preliminary observations of the cellular organisation of A. ramuliformis are reported. The protoplasm is multinucleate and characterized by what seems to be a system of extracellular lacunae formed by imaginations of the cell wall. Similar features have been observed in the deep sea foraminiferan Rhizammina algaeformis. Possible origins of the BaSO4 crystals and the taxonomic relationship between xenophyophores and certain foraminiferans are discussed.

Hide All
Arrhenius G., 1963. Pelagic sediments. In The sea, vol. 3 (ed. M.N. Hill), pp. 655727. New York: Wiley-Interscience Publishers.
Arrhenius G. & Bonatti E., 1965. Neptunism and vulcanism in the ocean. Progress in Oceanography, 3, 722.
Benton W.B., Collins I.R., Grimsey I.M., Parkinson G.M. & Rodger S.A., 1993. Nucleation, growth and inhibition of barium sulphate-controlled modification with organic and inorganic additives. The Royal Society of Chemistry, Faraday Discussions, 95, 281297.
Bertram M.A. & Cowen J.P., 1994. Testate rhizopod growth and mineral deposition on experimental substrates from Cross Seamount. Deep-Sea Research, 41, 575601.
Bishop J.K.B., 1988. The barite-opal-organic carbon association in oceanic particulate matter. Nature, London, 332, 341343.
Black S.N., Bromley L.A., Cottier D., Davey R.J., Dobbs B. & Rour J.E., 1991. Interactions at the organic/inorganic interface: binding motifs for phosphonates at the surface of barite crystals. Journal of the Chemical Society. Faraday Transactions, 87, 34093414.
Bronnimann P. & Whittaker J.E., 1988a. The trochamminaceous test and the taxonomic criteria used in the classification of the superfamily Trochamminacea. Abhandlungen Geologischen Bundesantalt, 41, 2339.
Brönnimann P. & Whittaker J.E., 1988b. The Trochamminacea of the ‘Discovery’ Reports. London: British Museum (Natural History).
Cartwright N.G., Gooday A.J. & Jones A.R., 1989. The morphology, internal organisation, and taxonomic position of Rhizammina algaeformis Brady, a large, agglutinated, deep-sea foraminifer. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 19, 115125.
Chow T.J. & Goldberg E.D., 1960. On the marine chemistry of barium. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 20, 192198.
Church T., 1970. Marine barite. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International.
Coombs T.L. & George S.G., 1977. Mechanisms of immobilisation and detoxification of metals in marine organisms. In Biology of benthic organisms (ed. B.F. Keegan et al.), pp. 179187. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Dehairs F., Baeyens W. & Goeyens L., 1992b. Accumulation of suspended barite at mesopelagic depths and export production in the Southern Ocean. Science, New York, 258, 13321335.
Dehairs F., Chesselet R. & Jedwab J., 1980. Discrete suspended particles of barite and the barium cycle in the open ocean. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 49, 528550.
Dehairs F., Goeyens L., Stroobants N. & Mathot S., 1992a. Elemental composition of suspended matter in the Scotia-Weddell Confluence area during spring and summer 1988 (EPOS Leg 2). Polar Biology, 12, 2533.
Dehairs F., Lambert C.E., Chesselet R. & Risler N., 1987. The biological production of marine suspended barite and the barium cycle in the western Mediterranean Sea. Biogeochemistry, 4, 119139.
Dehairs F., Stroobants N. & Goeyens L., 1991. Suspended barite as a tracer of biological activity in the Southern Ocean. Marine Chemistry, 35, 399410.
Dymond J., Suess E. & Lyle M., 1992. Barium in deep-sea sediment: a geochemical proxy for paleoproductivity. Paleoceanography, 7, 163181.
Espig H. & Neels H., 1967. Precipitation of barium, strontium and lead sulphates. Kristall und Technik, 2, 1967, 401413.
Fenchel T. & Finlay B., 1984. Geotaxis in the ciliated protozoan Loxodes. Journal of Experimental Biology, 110, 1733.
Finlay B.J., Hetherington N.B. & Davison W., 1983. Active biological participation in lacustrine barium chemistry. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 47, 13251329.
Gooday A.J., 1990. Recent deep-sea agglutinated Foraminifera: a brief review. In Paleoecology, biostratigraphy, paleoceanography and taxonomy of agglutinated Foraminifera (ed. C. Hemleben et al.), pp. 271304. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Gooday A.J., Bett B.J. & Pratt D.N., 1993. Direct observation of episodic growth in an abyssal xenophyophore (Protista). Deep-Sea Research, 40, 21312143.
Gooday A.J. & Nott J.A., 1982. Intracellular barite crystals in two xenophyophores, Aschemonella ramuliformis and Galatheammina sp. (Protozoa: Rhizopoda) with comments on the taxonomy of A. ramuliformis. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 62, 595605.
Gooday A.J., Nott J. A., Davis D. & Mann S., 1995. Apatite particles in the test wall of the large agglutinated foraminifer Bathysiphon major (Protista). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 75, 469481.
Gooday A.J. & Tendal O.S., 1988. New xenophyophores (Protista) from the bathyal and abyssal north-east Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Natural History, 22, 413434.
Gooday A.J. & Tendal O.S., in press. Phylum Granuloreticulosea, class Xenophyophorea. In Illustrated guide to the Protozoa (ed. J.J. Lee et al.). Lawrence, Kansas: Allen Press.
Icely J.D. & Nott J.A., 1980. Accumulations of copper within the ‘hepatopancreatic’ caeca of Corophium volutator (Crustacea: Amphipoda). Marine Biology, 57, 193199.
Lea D. & Boyle E., 1989. Barium content of benthic Foraminifera controlled by bottom-water composition. Nature, London, 338, 751753.
Lea D. & Boyle E., 1992. Barium in planktonic Foraminifera. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 55, 33213331.
Levin L.A., 1994. Paleoecology and ecology of xenophyophores. Palaios, 9, 3241.
Levin L.A. & Gooday A.J., 1992. Possible roles for xenophyophores in deep-sea carbon cycling. In Deep-sea food chains and the global carbon cycle (ed. G.T. Rowe and V. Pariente), pp. 93104. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Levin L.A. & Thomas C.L., 1988. The ecology of xenophyophores (Protista) on eastern Pacific seamounts. Deep-Sea Research, 35, 20032027.
Levine N.D. et al., 1980. A newly revised classification of the Protozoa. Journal of Protozoology, 27, 3758.
Lowenstam H.A., 1981. Minerals formed by organisms. Science, New York, 211, 11261131.
Paytan A., Kastner M., Martin E.E., Macdougall J.D. & Herbert T., 1993. Marine barite as a monitor of seawater strontium isotope composition. Nature, London, 366, 445449.
Riemann F., Tendal O.S. & Gingele F.X., 1993. Reticulammina antarctica nov. spec. (Xenophyophora, Protista) from the Weddell Sea, and aspects of the nutrition of xenophyophores. Polar Biology, 13, 543547.
Schröter K., Läuchli A. & Sievers A., 1975. Mikroanalytische Indentifikation von Bariumsulfat-Kristallen in den Statolithen der Rhizoid Chara fragilis, Desv. Planta, 122, 213225.
Schulze F.E., 1907. Die xenophyophoren, eine besondere Gruppe der Rhizopoden. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Deutschen Tiefsee-Expedition, auf dem Dampfer ‘Valdivia', 1898–1899, 11, 155.
Schulze F.E. & Thierfelder H., 1905. Über Baryumsulfat in Meerestieren (Xenophyophora F.E. Sch.). Sitzungsberichte der Gesellschaft Naturforschender Freunde zu Berlin, 1905, 23.
Shellis R.P., 1988. A microcomputer program to evaluate the saturation of complex solutions with respect to biominerals. CABIOS, 4, 373379.
Sievers A. & Volkmann D., 1979. Growth movements directed by gravity. In Encyclopedia of plant physiology. New series. Vol. 7. Physiology of movements (ed. W. Haupt and M.E. Feinleib), pp. 567572. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Simkiss K., 1979. Metal ions in cells. Endeavour, 3, 26.
Stroobants N., Dehairs F., Goeyens L., Vanderheijden N. & Grieken R. Van, 1991. Barite formation in the Southern Ocean water column. Marine Chemistry, 35, 411421.
Sutton C., 1987. Desmids, the algae with a taste for heavy metal. New Scientist, 113, 45.
Tendal O.S., 1972. A monograph of the Xenophyophoria (Rhizopodea, Protozoa). Galathea Report, 12, 7103.
Tendal O.S., 1994. Protozoa, Xenophyophorea granuloreticulosa:Psammina zonaria sp. nov. from the West Pacific and some aspects of the growth of xenophyophores. In ‘Musortor’ cruises reports. Vol. 12. Résultats des Campagnes ‘Musorstom’ (ed. A. Crosnier), pp. 4954. Paris: Éditions du Museum. [Memoires du Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, vol. 161.]
Tendal O.S., & Gooday A.J., 1981. Xenophyophoria (Rhizopoda, Protozoa) in bottom photographs from the bathyal and abyssal NE Atlantic. Oceanologica Acta, 4, 415422.
Tendal O.S. & Hessler R.R., 1977. An introduction to the biology and systematics of Komokiacea (Textulariina, Foraminiferida). Galathea Report, 14, 165194.
Wilcock J.R., Perry C.C., Williams R.J.P. & Brook A.J., 1989. Biological minerals formed from strontium and barium sulphates. II. Crystallography and control of mineral morphology in desmids. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 238, 203221.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 10 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 178 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.