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Soft dentin results in unique flexible teeth in scraping catfishes

Tom Geerinckx UGent, Ann Huysseune UGent, Matthieu Boone UGent, Myriam Claeys UGent, Marjolein Couvreur UGent, Barbara De Kegel UGent, Peter Mast UGent, Luc Van Hoorebeke UGent, Kim Verbeken UGent and Dominique Adriaens UGent (2012) PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL ZOOLOGY. 85(5). p.481-490
abstract
Teeth are generally used for actions in which they experience mainly compressive forces acting toward the base. The ordered tooth enamel(oid) and dentin structures contribute to the high compressive strength but also to the minor shear and tensile strengths. Some vertebrates, however, use their teeth for scraping, with teeth experiencing forces directed mostly normal to their long axis. Some scraping suckermouth catfishes (Loricariidae) even appear to have flexible teeth, which have not been found in any other vertebrate taxon. Considering the mineralized nature of tooth tissues, the notion of flexible teeth seems paradoxical. We studied teeth of five species, testing and measuring tooth flexibility, and investigating tooth (micro) structure using transmission electron microscopy, staining, computed tomography scanning, and scanning electron microscopy-energy-dispersive spectrometry. We quantified the extreme bending capacity of single teeth (up to 180 degrees) and show that reorganizations of the tooth (micro) structure and extreme hypomineralization of the dentin are adaptations preventing breaking by allowing flexibility. Tooth shape and internal structure appear to be optimized for bending in one direction, which is expected to occur frequently when feeding (scraping) under natural conditions. Not all loricariid catfishes possess flexible teeth, with the trait potentially having evolved more than once. Flexible teeth surely rank among the most extreme evolutionary novelties in known mineralized biological materials and might yield a better understanding of the processes of dentin formation and (hypo) mineralization in vertebrates, including humans.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
PREDENTIN, MINERALIZATION, TOOTH ATTACHMENT, RAY, ORIENTATION, MORPHOLOGY, EVOLUTION, ONTOGENY, TISSUES, TENSILE-STRENGTH
journal title
PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL ZOOLOGY
Physiol. Biochem. Zool.
volume
85
issue
5
pages
481 - 490
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000308067900007
JCR category
ZOOLOGY
JCR impact factor
2.456 (2012)
JCR rank
20/149 (2012)
JCR quartile
1 (2012)
ISSN
1522-2152
DOI
10.1086/667532
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
4090622
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-4090622
date created
2013-06-29 13:50:36
date last changed
2017-03-09 12:45:16
@article{4090622,
  abstract     = {Teeth are generally used for actions in which they experience mainly compressive forces acting toward the base. The ordered tooth enamel(oid) and dentin structures contribute to the high compressive strength but also to the minor shear and tensile strengths. Some vertebrates, however, use their teeth for scraping, with teeth experiencing forces directed mostly normal to their long axis. Some scraping suckermouth catfishes (Loricariidae) even appear to have flexible teeth, which have not been found in any other vertebrate taxon. Considering the mineralized nature of tooth tissues, the notion of flexible teeth seems paradoxical. We studied teeth of five species, testing and measuring tooth flexibility, and investigating tooth (micro) structure using transmission electron microscopy, staining, computed tomography scanning, and scanning electron microscopy-energy-dispersive spectrometry. We quantified the extreme bending capacity of single teeth (up to 180 degrees) and show that reorganizations of the tooth (micro) structure and extreme hypomineralization of the dentin are adaptations preventing breaking by allowing flexibility. Tooth shape and internal structure appear to be optimized for bending in one direction, which is expected to occur frequently when feeding (scraping) under natural conditions. Not all loricariid catfishes possess flexible teeth, with the trait potentially having evolved more than once. Flexible teeth surely rank among the most extreme evolutionary novelties in known mineralized biological materials and might yield a better understanding of the processes of dentin formation and (hypo) mineralization in vertebrates, including humans.},
  author       = {Geerinckx, Tom and Huysseune, Ann and Boone, Matthieu and Claeys, Myriam and Couvreur, Marjolein and De Kegel, Barbara and Mast, Peter and Van Hoorebeke, Luc and Verbeken, Kim and Adriaens, Dominique},
  issn         = {1522-2152},
  journal      = {PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL ZOOLOGY},
  keyword      = {PREDENTIN,MINERALIZATION,TOOTH ATTACHMENT,RAY,ORIENTATION,MORPHOLOGY,EVOLUTION,ONTOGENY,TISSUES,TENSILE-STRENGTH},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {481--490},
  title        = {Soft dentin results in unique flexible teeth in scraping catfishes},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/667532},
  volume       = {85},
  year         = {2012},
}

Chicago
Geerinckx, Tom, Ann Huysseune, Matthieu Boone, Myriam Claeys, Marjolein Couvreur, Barbara De Kegel, Peter Mast, Luc Van Hoorebeke, Kim Verbeken, and Dominique Adriaens. 2012. “Soft Dentin Results in Unique Flexible Teeth in Scraping Catfishes.” Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 85 (5): 481–490.
APA
Geerinckx, T., Huysseune, A., Boone, M., Claeys, M., Couvreur, M., De Kegel, B., Mast, P., et al. (2012). Soft dentin results in unique flexible teeth in scraping catfishes. PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL ZOOLOGY, 85(5), 481–490.
Vancouver
1.
Geerinckx T, Huysseune A, Boone M, Claeys M, Couvreur M, De Kegel B, et al. Soft dentin results in unique flexible teeth in scraping catfishes. PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL ZOOLOGY. 2012;85(5):481–90.
MLA
Geerinckx, Tom, Ann Huysseune, Matthieu Boone, et al. “Soft Dentin Results in Unique Flexible Teeth in Scraping Catfishes.” PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL ZOOLOGY 85.5 (2012): 481–490. Print.