Characterization of calcium oxalate biominerals in some (non-cactaceae) succulent plant species

Paula V. Monje, Enrique J. Baran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The water-accumulating leaves of crassulacean acid metabolism plants belonging to five different families were investigated for the presence of biominerals by infrared spectroscopic and microscopic analyses. Spectroscopic results revealed that the mineral present in succulent species of Agavaceae, Aizoaceae, and Asphodelaceae was calcium oxalate monohydrate (whewellite, CaC2O4 · H2O). Crystals were predominantly found as raphides or solitary crystals of various morphologies. However, representative Crassulaceae members and a succulent species of Asteraceae did not show the presence of biominerals. Overall, these results suggest no correlation between calcium oxalate generation and crassulacean acid metabolism in succulent plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-432
Number of pages4
JournalZeitschrift fur Naturforschung - Section C Journal of Biosciences
Volume65 C
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 2010


  • Biominerals
  • Crassulacean acid metabolism
  • Succulent plants
  • Whewellite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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