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Micrometer-scale porosity as a biosignature in carbonate crusts

Bosak, Tanja and Souza-Egipsy, Virginia and Corsetti, Frank A. and Newman, Dianne K. (2004) Micrometer-scale porosity as a biosignature in carbonate crusts. Geology, 32 (9). pp. 781-784. ISSN 0091-7613. doi:10.1130/G20681.1.

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We formed calcite crusts in the presence and absence of the heterotrophic bacterium Desulfovibrio desulfuricans strain G20 to investigate microbial morphological signatures in fast-accreting carbonate precipitates. Submicrometer- to micrometer-sized pores (micropores) were present and ubiquitous in the G20 crusts but absent in abiotically precipitated crusts. Bacterial micropores resemble inclusions under transmitted light, but have distinct size, biological shapes and patterns (swirling or dendritic) and are distributed differently from common fluid inclusions. We observed similar porosity in both modern and ancient carbonate crusts of putative biotic origin. Our experiments support the microbial origin of micropores and help define specific criteria whereby to recognize these features as biosignatures in the rock record.

Item Type:Article
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Newman, Dianne K.0000-0003-1647-1918
Additional Information:© 2004 Geological Society of America. Manuscript received 18 March 2004. Revised manuscript received 17 May 2004. Manuscript accepted 18 May 2004. We thank Ma Chi, George Rossman, Kenneth H. Nealson, Randall Mielke, Alicia Thompson, François Morel, Ben Weiss, and the members of the Newman lab for their help, comments, and support. The Agouron Institute (Bosak), Luce and Packard Foundations (Newman), and Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (Souza-Egipsy) are acknowledged for financial support.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Agouron InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Luce and Packard FoundationsUNSPECIFIED
Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia y TecnologíaUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:bacteria, biomarkers, carbonates, porosity
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130313-094545347
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37488
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Mar 2013 21:15
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:29

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