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Using New Geochemical and Nanotechnological Approach to Study Biomineralization in Microbiolites II

Applicant Vasconcelos Crisogono
Number 143912
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Geologisches Institut ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Geochemistry
Start/End 01.01.2013 - 31.12.2015
Approved amount 379'018.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Geochemistry
Other disciplines of Earth Sciences

Keywords (7)

EPS, ; Microbiolites; Biomineralization, ; Nanotchnology, ; Microbial Mats; Dolomite, ; Virus

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
LeadCe projet vise à comprendre les processus de biominéralisation au sein des tapis microbiens. Ces derniers étant les premiers écosystèmes apparus sur la Terre, ils constituent des analogues actuels adéquats pour l’identification de biosignatures, dont les virus, dans l’enregistrement sédimentaire.
Lay summary

 

Titre du projet : Using new geochemical and nanotechnological approaches to study biomineralization in microbial mats

Requérant principal : PhD., Crisogono Vasconcelos, ETH Zürich


Résumé

Les stromatolites, dépôts organo-sédimentaires, sont les premiers écosystèmes microbiens qui ont colonisé la Terre Archéenne (2,5 à 4 milliards d’années). Ces dépôts se forment sous l’influence de tapis microbiens dans les environnements modernes mais l’origine biologique des stromatolites « fossiles » Archéens reste quand à elle débattue. Une meilleure connaissance des mécanismes de fossilisation ou de biominéralisation s’avère donc indispensable afin d’identifier des biosignatures et discriminer si les critères proposés résultent uniquement de processus biologiques ou bien s’ils peuvent être le produit de réactions abiotiques.

Ce projet met l’accent sur la bioformation de dolomite dans les tapis microbiens (un sujet qui depuis des années représente le « cheval de bataille » du Groupe de Géomicrobiologie de l’ETHZ), mais également sur un nouveau type de biosignatures: les virus. Bien que ceux-ci soient largement répandus dans les écosystèmes terrestres et océaniques, leur présence dans l’enregistrement sédimentaire reste inconnue. Sites de nucléation pour la minéralisation, les virus tout comme les bactéries, peuvent donc être ainsi préservés dans les archives sédimentaires. Bien qu’ils représentent un nouveau type de biominéralisation, le mécanisme de fossilisation est encore mal compris. Cette recherche a d'importantes implications pour l'interprétation du registre fossile ancien, en particulier pour la recherche de signatures fossiles de la vie dans les océans primitifs.

But

L’utilisation de techniques de microscopie et spectroscopie de haute résolution vise à étudier les communautés microbiennes et les minéraux associés directement au sein des différents horizons constituant les tapis microbiens jusqu’à l’échelle du nanomètre. Ainsi, il sera possible de determiner précisément la composition chimique des substances organiques associées à la nucléation des cristaux à cette échelle. Une attention particulière sera portée aux virus, leur association avec les micro-organismes hôtes et les conditions biogéochimiques permettant leur minéralisation.

Signification

La compréhension des communautés microbiennes et des processus biogéochimiques associés est fondamentale pour reconnaître ces « signaux » dans l’enregistrement fossile. Ce projet se propose de mettre en évidence la minéralisation des tapis microbiens grâce à une approche à l’échelle nanoscopique dans le but de différentier les processus biotiques et abiotiques liés à la précipitation des carbonates. L’intérêt de cette étude s’étend à la quête de vie primitive sur la Terre puisque seuls les tapis microbiens, qui sont les premiers écosystèmes, ont subsisté jusqu’à aujourd’hui.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 11.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Microbially catalyzed dolomite formation: From near-surface to burial
Petrash Daniel, Vasconcelos Crisogono, Bontognali Tomaso (2017), Microbially catalyzed dolomite formation: From near-surface to burial, in Earth-Science Reviews, 171, 558-582.
Calibration of the dolomite clumped isotope thermometer from 25 to 350°C, and implications for a universal calibration for all (Ca, Mg, Fe)CO3 carbonates
Bonifacie Magali, Vasconcelos Crisogono (2017), Calibration of the dolomite clumped isotope thermometer from 25 to 350°C, and implications for a universal calibration for all (Ca, Mg, Fe)CO3 carbonates, in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 200, 255-279.
The importance of microbial mats for dolomite formation in the Dohat Faishakh sabkha, Qatar.
Brauchli Marisa (2016), The importance of microbial mats for dolomite formation in the Dohat Faishakh sabkha, Qatar., in Carbonates and Evaporites, 31(3), 339-345.
Characterization of environmental conditions during microbial Mgcarbonate precipitation and early diagenetic dolomite crust formation: Brejo do Espinho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazi
Bahniuk Anelize (2015), Characterization of environmental conditions during microbial Mgcarbonate precipitation and early diagenetic dolomite crust formation: Brejo do Espinho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazi, in Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 243.
Characterization of environmental conditions during microbial Mgcarbonate precipitation and early diagenetic dolomite crust formation: Brejo do Espinho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Bahniuk Anelize (2015), Characterization of environmental conditions during microbial Mgcarbonate precipitation and early diagenetic dolomite crust formation: Brejo do Espinho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 243.
Coupled measurements of δ18O and δD of hydration water and salinity of fluid inclusions in gypsum from the Messinian Yesares Member, Sorbas Basin (SE Spain).
Evans Nicholas (2015), Coupled measurements of δ18O and δD of hydration water and salinity of fluid inclusions in gypsum from the Messinian Yesares Member, Sorbas Basin (SE Spain)., in EPSL, 499.
Microbial Carbonates in Space and Time: Implications for Global Exploration and Production
Warthmann Rolf, Vasconcelos Crisogono (2015), Microbial Carbonates in Space and Time: Implications for Global Exploration and Production, in Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 418, 330-345.
Microbial Carbonates in Space and Time: Implications for Global Exploration and Production.
Warthmann Rolf (2015), Microbial Carbonates in Space and Time: Implications for Global Exploration and Production., in Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 287.
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures
Tisato Nicola (2015), Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, in Scientific Reports , 5.
The importance of microbial mats for dolomite formation in the Dohat Faishakh sabkha, Qatar
Brauchli Marisa, Vasconcelos Crisogono, Bontognali Tomaso, McKenzie Judith (2015), The importance of microbial mats for dolomite formation in the Dohat Faishakh sabkha, Qatar, in Carbonates and Evaporates, 1.
The Triassic–Jurassic boundary in the shallow-water marine carbonates from the western Northern Calcareous Alps (Austria).
Felber Roland (2015), The Triassic–Jurassic boundary in the shallow-water marine carbonates from the western Northern Calcareous Alps (Austria)., in Swiss Journal of Geoscience, 213.
Evidence of microbiocoenosis in the formation of laminae in modern stromatolites
Vasconcelos Crisogono, Dittrich Maria, McKenzie Judith A. (2014), Evidence of microbiocoenosis in the formation of laminae in modern stromatolites, in FACIES, 60(1), 3-13.
Microbial experiments to evaluate unique Fe-carbonate formation under acidic conditions
Sánchez-Román Monica (2014), Microbial experiments to evaluate unique Fe-carbonate formation under acidic conditions, in Nature Scientific Reports, 4767.
Microbially influenced formation of Mg-calcite and Ca-dolomite in the presence of exopolymeric substances produced by sulphate-reducing bacteria
Bontognali Tomaso R. R., McKenzie Judith A., Warthmann Rolf J., Vasconcelos Crisogono (2014), Microbially influenced formation of Mg-calcite and Ca-dolomite in the presence of exopolymeric substances produced by sulphate-reducing bacteria, in TERRA NOVA, 26(1), 72-77.
Smectite synthesis at low temperature and neutral pH in the presence of succinic acid
Bontognali Tomaso (2014), Smectite synthesis at low temperature and neutral pH in the presence of succinic acid, in Applied Clay Science , 553.
Viruses as a new agent of organomineralisation in the geological record
Pacton Muriel (2014), Viruses as a new agent of organomineralisation in the geological record, in Nature Communications, 4298.
Organomineralization processes in freshwater stromatolites: A living example from eastern Patagonia
Pacton Muriel, Organomineralization processes in freshwater stromatolites: A living example from eastern Patagonia, in Depositional Record, 1.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Dr. John Eiler, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Caltech. CA, USA United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr.Maria Dittrich, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto Canada (North America)
- Publication
Dr. Christian Strohmenger, ExxonMobil Research Qatar Qatar (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Ana Luiza Spadano Albuquerque/Laboratório De Oceanografia Observacional E Paleoceanografia (LOOP) Brazil (South America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
AGU 2017 Talk given at a conference Investigating Interactions between the Silica and Carbon Cycles during Precipitation and Early Diagenesis of Authigenic Clay/Carbonate-Mineral Associations in the Carbonate Rock Record 11.12.2017 New Orleans, United States of America Vasconcelos Crisogono; Santilli Nascimento Libanori Gabriela;
Goldschmidt 2017 Poster Upwelling Influence on Biogeochemical Processes in Coastal Lagoons, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 13.08.2017 Paris, France Vasconcelos Crisogono; Santilli Nascimento Libanori Gabriela; Bontognali Tomaso;
AGU Fall Meeting 2015 Poster Unusual very positive enrichment of 13C in carbonate sediments deposited in modern hypersaline environment, Lagoa Salgada, Brazil: controlled metabolic processes Indicator of salinity 12.12.2016 San Francisco, United States of America Santilli Nascimento Libanori Gabriela; Vasconcelos Crisogono; Bontognali Tomaso;
200+25 Years Dolomite, 2016 Poster aleoclimatic and -environmental impact on dolomite precipitation in hypersaline coastal lagoons, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 04.10.2016 Selvia Di Val Gardena, Italy Santilli Nascimento Libanori Gabriela; Vasconcelos Crisogono; Bontognali Tomaso;
European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2016 Poster Exploring biotic vs. abiotic controls on syngenetic carbonate and clay mineral precipitation 17.04.2016 Vienna, Austria Vasconcelos Crisogono; Bontognali Tomaso; Santilli Nascimento Libanori Gabriela;
AGU Fall Meeting 2015 Poster Linking the Modern and Recent Record of Cabo Frio Upwelling with Local Climate and Biogeochemical Processes in Hypersaline Coastal Lagoons, Região dos Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 14.12.2015 San Francisco, United States of America Vasconcelos Crisogono; Santilli Nascimento Libanori Gabriela;
European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2015 Poster Microbial bio-mineralization processes in hydrothermal travertine: the case study of two active travertine systems (Tuscany, Italy) 12.04.2015 Vienna, Austria Bontognali Tomaso; Vasconcelos Crisogono; Barilaro Federica;
Fall Meeting, AGU Poster Protocol for Identifying Fossil Biofilm Microfabrics in Archean and Martian Sedimentary Rocks 15.12.2014 San Francisco, United States of America Bontognali Tomaso; Vasconcelos Crisogono;
2014 Annual Research Conference (ARC’14) Talk given at a conference Fossilized extracellular polymeric substances and microfossils preserved in ancient dolomite 22.10.2014 Doha, Qatar Bontognali Tomaso;
19th International Sedimentological Congress Poster Combining microbial fossil and mineral assemblages to reconstruct paleoenvironmental conditions during formation of Aptian lacustrine carbonate platform, Brazil 18.08.2014 Geneve, Switzerland Vasconcelos Crisogono; Bontognali Tomaso; Barilaro Federica; Pacton Muriel;
AAPG Annual Convention Houston, Texas, 2014 Poster Microbial-Mediated Dolomite from Coastal Sabkha Environments of Abu Dhabi and Qatar: Analogues to Subsurface Arid Climate Dolomitized Reservoir Rocks 06.04.2014 Houston, United States of America Vasconcelos Crisogono; Bontognali Tomaso;
Fall Meeting, AGU 2013 Poster Characterization of environmental conditions for microbial dolomite precipitation and early diagenesis: Brejo do Espinho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 09.12.2013 San Francisco, United States of America Vasconcelos Crisogono;
Goldschmidt 2013 Conference. Poster Dolomite formation within microbial mats in the Dohat Faishakh sabkha, Qatar 25.08.2013 Florence, Italy Vasconcelos Crisogono; Bontognali Tomaso;
Microbial Carbonates in Space and Time: Implications for Global Exploration and Production Poster Microbialite Facies of Lower Cretaceous Codó Formation (Northeast Brazil): Coupled Sedimentological and Isotope Paleoenvironmental Analysis of a Potential Reservoir Rock. 19.06.2013 London, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Vasconcelos Crisogono;
Microbial Carbonates in Space and Time: Implications for Global Exploration and Production Talk given at a conference Microbialite Facies of Lower Cretaceous Codó Formation (Northeast Brazil): Coupled Sedimentological and Isotope Paleoenvironmental Analysis of a Potential Reservoir Rock. 19.06.2013 London, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Vasconcelos Crisogono;


Awards

Title Year
Awarded of excellence Top 10 poster presentation. 2014

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
163048 Using New Geochemical and Nanotechnological Approaches to Study Biomineralization in Microbialites III 01.01.2016 Project funding
127327 Using New Geochemical and Nanotechnological Approach to Study Biomineralization in Microbiolites 01.10.2009 Project funding

Abstract

Summary: This proposal is a continuation of our previous project, “Using New Geochemical and Nanotechnological Approach to Study Biomineralization in Microbialites”, which led to the discovery of an important element in microbial mat biomineralization, that is, the virus. This current proposal is divided into 2 parts: Part (A) will apply high-resolution microscopy techniques and spectrometry analysis at a nanoscale to microbial mats cultivated in the laboratory to define geochemical signals and understand microbial-mineral interactions that occur in the mats, and Part (B) will study bioformation of authigenic minerals, dolomite and clay precipitation, within the microbial mats of the Dohat Faishakh sabkha (Qatar) and characterize the gases and bubble morphologies in the mats as a modern analogue for the interpretation of fossil bubbles in ancient stromatolites. During the first 2 years, a post-doctoral fellow will conduct the studies outlined in Part (A) and evaluate the significance of the bacterial/virus interaction for biomineralization in the microbial mats. The cultivation of microbial mats, along with the application of cutting-edge techniques, will facilitate high-resolution studies at the nanoscale, opening a new dimension to understand the processes behind the formation of microbial structures, and to evaluate the biogeochemical processes occurring within living microbial mats. Part (B) is formulated to be a doctoral research project and requests a 3-year PhD position. We will began our sampling campaign in November 2012 with the collection of water and sediment samples from the intertidal environment of the Dohat Faishakh sabkha (Qatar), where dolomite/clay precipitation occurs within the living microbial mats. A second field campaign is planned for July 2014 to obtain a complementary set of samples representing the extreme end of the annual cycle. The potential role of microbes in the precipitation of dolomite and clay in the Dohat Faishakh sabkha will be evaluated to expand our knowledge of microbial biomineralization under evaporative conditions to a new area. Also, the study of gases and the production of bubble morphologies in the Qatar mats will be a second focus of Part (B). Linking fossil bubbles within stromatolites to specific biogases may provide crucial insights on early mat physiology, allowing for a better reconstruction of a major evolutionary step that irreversibly changed the Earth’s surface environment from anoxic to oxic.
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