|Although biomineralization in plants is an important area of research, there is very limited
information. In this work, we report the location of Na, K, Ca, Mg and Fe biominerals in Sarcocornia
pruinosa (Chenopodiacaeae), a halophyte species growing in the estuarine area of Río Tinto, an extreme
acidic environment. The estuarine soils of the Tinto basin are characterized by slightly acidic pH and
high concentrations of ions. They are exposed to Atlantic Ocean tides that contribute to the increase in
pH, Na and Mg concentrations. The aim of this work was to characterize the elemental composition
and to identify the biominerals detected in cell tissues of S. pruinosa. Analytical techniques, such as
ICP-MS (Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry), XRD and microscopy such as OM (optical
microscopy) with histochemical staining, SEM and TEM (scanning and transmission electronic
microscopy) coupled with EDX (energy dispersive X-ray) were carried out to analyze the plant tissues
of S. pruinosa and characterize the detected biominerals. The elemental composition in succulent stems
and seeds of S. pruinosa showed high values of Na and K followed by Ca, Mg and Fe. The presence of
halite, sylvite, weddellite, glushinskite and Fe oxides biominerals in this halophyte species is reported.
Our data suggest the importance of vegetation in the biogeochemical cycles in estuarine areas.