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Microbial nucleation of calcium carbonate in the Precambrian

Bosak, Tanja and Newman, Dianne K. (2003) Microbial nucleation of calcium carbonate in the Precambrian. Geology, 31 (7). pp. 577-580. ISSN 0091-7613.

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Microbial sulfate reduction is thought to stimulate carbonate precipitation in modern stromatolites, yet whether this metabolism was important in shaping Precambrian stromatolites is unknown. Here we use geochemical modeling to suggest that the influence of sulfate reduction on the saturation index of calcite (SI) is negligible when seawater is in equilibrium with high pCO_2, as is thought for the Precambrian. Our laboratory experiments with heterotrophic bacteria in a medium mimicking Precambrian seawater chemistry show that even if sulfate reduction does not significantly change the SI, the presence of bacteria stimulates calcite precipitation over sterile controls by effectively increasing the SI over a pH range from 7.3 to 7.8. Under our experimental conditions, dead cells stimulate in situ carbonate precipitation equally, if not more, than active sulfate-reducing bacteria. Heterogeneous nucleation of calcite by microbial cell material appears to be the driving mechanism that explains this phenomenon.

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Newman, Dianne K.0000-0003-1647-1918
Additional Information:© 2003 Geological Society of America. Manuscript received 27 February 2003; Revised manuscript received 31 March 2003; Manuscript accepted 2 April 2003. We thank Janet Hering, George Rossman, Elisabeth Arredondo, Ma Chi, the members of the Newman laboratory, and our reviewers for their valuable comments. Financial support from the Packard Foundation, the Luce Foundation, and the Agouron Institute is gratefully acknowledged.
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Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Luce FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Agouron InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130313-083421706
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37484
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Mar 2013 21:11
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 04:48

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