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Biomphalaria glabrata


HASSE, B., MARXEN, J. C., BECKER, W., BIJMA, J., EHRENBERG, H., EPPLE, M. (1999). Phase analysis of mollusc shells of Biomphalaria glabrata and of the skeleton of the marine protozoa (foraminifera) Orbulina universa. HASYLAB Jahresbericht


MARXEN, J. C., REELSEN, O., REZGAOUI, M., BECKER, W. (2000). Untersuchungen zur Embryonalentwicklung der Süßwasserschnecke Biomphalaria glabrata unter Welt-raumbedingungen. Tagungsband Bilanzsymposium: Forschung unter Weltraumbedin-gungen, Sept. 1998, Norderney, Hrsg.: KELLER M.H., SAHM P.R.


BECKER, W., MARXEN, J. C., REELSEN, O., REZGAOUI, M. (2000). Untersuchungen zur Schalenbildung bei der Schnecke Biomphalaria glabrata unter µg-Bedingungen. Tagungsband Bilanzsymposium: Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen, Sept. 1998, Norderney, Hrsg.: KELLER M.H., SAHM P.R.


HASSE, B., MARXEN, J., BECKER, W., BIJMA, J., EHRENBERG, H., EPPLE, M. (2000). Bestimmung kleiner Anteile kristalliner Fremdphasen in Calciumcarbonathaltigen Biomineralien mittels hochauflösender Synchrotron-Röntgenpulverdiffraktometrie. Z. Krist. Suppl.


HASSE, B., MARXEN, J. C., BECKER, W., EHRENBERG, H., EPPLE, M. (2000). EXAFS and diffraction analysis of the eggs of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata. HASYLAB Jahresbericht


HASSE, B., MARXEN, J. C., BECKER, W., EHRENBERG, H., EPPLE, M. (2000). Investi-gation of the love dart of the snail Helix pomatia. HASYLAB Jahresbericht


B. HASSE, J.C. MARXEN, W. BECKER, H. EHRENBERG, M. EPPLE (2001). Kristal-lographische Untersuchung des Liebespfeils der Weinbergschnecke (Helix pomatia). Tagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Kristallographie, Bayreuth. Poster and short presentation


BECKER, A., EPPLE, M., BECKER, W., MARXEN, J. C. (2002). Kontrollierte Kristallisati-on von Calciumcarbonat - Nachahmung der biologischen Mineralisation im Labor. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kristallographie. Poster


MARXEN, J. C., EPPLE, M., BECKER, A., BECKER, W. (2002). Fractionation of shell ma-trix extracts and crystallization of calcium carbonate. Gordon Res. Conf., New London. Poster


MARXEN, J.C., EPPLE, M., BECKER, A., BECKER, W. (2003). Fractionation of shell matrix extract and crystallization of calcium carbonate. Workshop: Investigation of Biomineralization Employing Model Systems, Braunschweig. Poster


MARXEN, J. C., NIMTZ, M., BECKER, W., MANN, K.-H. (2003). Dermatopontin as the major protein of the organic shell matrix of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata. Workshop: Molecular Biology and Protein Chemistry in Biomineraliza-tion Research, Bremen. Poster


PRYMAK, O., SCHILLER, C., TIEMANN, H., SÖTJE, I., MARXEN, J., DONATH, T., BECKMANN, F., EPPLE, M. (2005). Mikrotomographie an Biomineralien. HASYLAB-Jahresbericht

RUEDIGER H W, MARXEN J, KOHL F-V, MELDERIS H, V. WICHERT P (1979). Metabolism and formation of DNA adducts of benzo(a)pyrene in human diploid fibroblasts. Cancer Re-search 39(3):1083-8


MARXEN, J. C., BECKER, W. (1997). The organic shell matrix of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 118B(1):23-33


MARXEN, J. C., HAMMER, M., GEHRKE, T., BECKER, W. (1998). Carbohydrates of the organic shell matrix and the shell-forming tissue of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata (Say). Biol. Bull. 194:231-240


BECKER, W., MARXEN, J. C., EPPLE, M., REELSEN, O. (2000). Influence of microgravity on crystal formation in biomineralization. J. Appl. Phys. 89(4):1601-1607


HASSE, B., EHRENBERG, H., MARXEN, J. C., BECKER, W., EPPLE, M. (2000). Calcium carbonate modifications in the mineralized shell of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata. Chem. Eur. J. 6(20):3679-3685


MARXEN, J. C., BECKER, W. (2000). Calcium binding constituents of the organic shell matrix from the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 127B(2):235-242


MARXEN, J. C., REELSEN, O., BECKER, W. (2001). Embryonic development of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata under µg conditions (STS-89 mission). J. Grav. Phys. 8(2):29-36


BECKER, A., EPPLE, M., MARXEN, J. C., BECKER, W. (2002). Die Kristallisation von Calciumcarbonat bei konstanten Bedingungen in Anwesenheit biologischer Fremdstof-fe. Z. Anorg. Allg. Chem. 628:2184


HASSE, B., MARXEN, J. C., BECKER, W., EHRENBERG, H., EPPLE, M. (2002). A crys-tallographic study of the love dart (gypsobelum) of the land snail Helix pomatia (L.). J. Moll. Stud. 68(3):249-254


MARXEN, J. C., BECKER, W., FINKE, D., HASSE, B., EPPLE, M. (2003). Early minerali-zation in Biomphalaria glabrata: Microscopic and structural results. J. Moll. Stud. 69:113-121


MARXEN, J. C., WITTEN, P. E., FINKE, F., REELSEN, O., REZGAOUI, M., BECKER W. (2003). A light- and electron microscopic study of enzymes in the embryonic shell forming tissue of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata. Inv. Biol. 122(4):313-325


MARXEN, J. C., NIMTZ, M., BECKER, W., MANN, K.-H. (2003). The major soluble 19.6 kDa protein of the organic shell matrix of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata is an N-glycosylated dermatopontin. BBAPAP 1650:92-98


BECKER, A., BECKER, W., MARXEN, J. C., EPPLE, M. (2003). In-vitro crystallization of calcium carbonate in the presence of biological additives - comparison of the ammo-nium carbonate method with double-diffusion techniques. Z. Anorg. Allg. Chem. 629: 2305-2311


PRYMAK, O., TIEMANN, H., SOETJE, I., MARXEN, J.C., KLOCKE, A., KAHL-NIEKE, B., BECKMANN, F., DONATH, T., EPPLE, M. (2005). Application of synchrotron-radiation-based microtomography (SRICT) to selected biominerals: embryonic snails, statoliths of medusae, and human teeth. J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. 10(6):688-695


MARXEN, J.C., PRYMAK, O., BECKMANN, F., NEUES, F., EPPLE, M. (2008) Embryonic shell formation in the snail Biomphalaria glabrata: a comparison between scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and synchrotron radiation micro computer tomography (SRµCT). J. Moll. Stud. 74(1):19-26


MARXEN J C, PICK C, KWIATKOWSKI M, BURMESTER T (2013) Molecular characterization and evolution of haemocyanin from the two freshwater shrimps Caridina multidentata (Stimpson, 1860) and Atyopsis moluccensis (De Haan, 1849). J Comp Physiol B 183/5:623-624


MARXEN JC, PICK C, OAKLEY TH, BURMESTER T (2014) Occurrence of hemocyanin in ostracod crustaceans. J Mol Evol 79:3-11

Scientific work: Biomineralization


Julia. C. Marxen

Biomineralized structures such as e.g. bones, teeth, molluscan shells, corals, sea urchin spines, egg shells, etc. are widespread among the animal kingdom. They all consist of a composite material, made from an proteinaceous organic matrix and an inorganic mineral. Although the concept of an organic matrix that controls nucleation and growth of the inorganic crystals and thereby dictates their shape and morphology, is now well accepted, the process of biomineralization itself is in important parts still a mystery. The full understanding of the process of biomineralization is of outstanding interest e.g. for biology, biochemistry, medicine and material science because the characteristics of biologically formed minerals are very promising. The composites show a significant increase in hardness and stability compared to crystals from pure inorganic origin. E.g. is the biologically built aragonite of a snail shell about 1000-fold harder and more resistant than the inorganic calcium carbonate alone.

The exoskeletons of mollusks, their shells, are suitable objects for studies of the organic matrix since they are easily obtained, free from adhering tissue.

The tropical freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata (Say,1818) is well known as the intermediate host of the pathogenic worm Schistosoma mansoni, causing the tropical disease schistosomiasis. The calcium carbonate in the shell of B. glabrata occurs almost exclusively in the aragonitic phase. It is organized as a double layered cross-lamellar structure, the two layers standing in a right angle upon each other.

In cooperation with material scientists and molecular biologists we are investigating the organic matrix of the Biomphalaria glabrata shell, its proteins and carbohydrates by a variety of biochemical, histological and hard material analytical methods. For further details of our work please visit the list of publications.


Shell of a 72 h old embryo of Biomphalaria glabrata in rotation. Synchroton radiation micro computer tomography (SRµCT).