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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 648326, 9 pages
Research Article

Phytoliths in Taxonomy of Phylogenetic Domains of Plants

1Scientific Educational Center of Nanotechnology, Far Eastern Federal University, 10 Pushkinskaya Street, Vladivostok 690990, Russia
2Laboratory of Ecology and Protection Animals, Pacific Institute of Geography FEB RAS, 7 Radio Street, Vladivostok 690041, Russia
3Laboratory of Enzyme Chemistry, Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry FEB RAS, 159 Prospect 100 Let Vladivostoku, Vladivostok 690022, Russia
4Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Blagoveshchensk State Pedagogical University, 104 Lenina Street, Blagoveshchensk 675000, Russia

Received 17 April 2014; Accepted 3 July 2014; Published 27 August 2014

Academic Editor: Vassily Lyubetsky

Copyright © 2014 Kirill S. Golokhvast et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We discuss, from the aspect of phylogeny, the interrelationships of the phytolith types in plants from the main taxonomical groups (algae, lichens, horsetails, gymnosperms, and floral plants) with homologues of known proteins of biomineralization. Phytolith morphotypes in various phylogenetic plant domains have different shapes. We found that, in ancient types of plants (algae, horsetails, and gymnosperms), there are fewer different phytolith morphotypes compared to more modern plants (floral plants). The phytolith morphotypes in primitive plants are generally larger than the morphotypes in more highly organized plants. We found that the irregular ruminate and irregular smooth morphotypes are the two most frequently encountered phytolith morphotypes in the tested plants (from algae to floral plants). These two morphotypes probably have a universal role. Silacidins, silicon transporters, silicateins, silaffins, and silicase homologues are often found in the major taxonomic groups of plants. Red algae had the smallest number of homologues of the biomineralization proteins (70–80), Monocotyledonous: 142, Coniferous: 166, Mosses: 227, and Dicotyledones: 336.