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《Geological Journal of China Universities》 2005-02
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Microbial Biomineralization

Yiliang Li 1, Rucheng Wang 2, Gentao Zhou 3, Chuanlun Zhang 1(1. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29803, USA;2. Department of Earth Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;3. School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China)  
Microbial metabolism of life-essential elements such as carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen and metals can significantly change the physicochemical conditions of their external or internal environments. Through a variety of biogeochemical processes, microorganisms mediate the precipitation of minerals (biomineralization) or dissolution of minerals or rocks (microbial weathering). Biomineralization can have two pathways. One is called biological induced mineralization by which organisms secrete metabolic products that result in subsequent deposition of mineral particles; another pathway is called biologically controlled mineralization by which the microbes exert a significant degree of control over the nucleation and growth of the minerals. The minerals of microbial genesis are generally characterized by small grain size and/or unique isotopic features. The most common biogenetic minerals are carbonates, sulfides and iron oxides. The structure of cell surface and the exopolymers excreted plays an essential role in forming templates for ions to condense, assemble and mineralize. Biomimetic synthesis of Earth materials helps us to understand the mechanism of biomineralization under artificial conditions. Furthermore, biogenic minerals in geological environments can be used as biosignatures, which help to retrieve the origin and evolution of life on Earth and other planets.
【CateGory Index】: Q938.1
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