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Precipitation of barite by marine bacteria; a possible mechanism for marine barite formation

M. T. Gonzalez-Munoz, F. Martinez-Ruiz, F. Morcillo, J. D. Martin-Ramos and A. Paytan
Precipitation of barite by marine bacteria; a possible mechanism for marine barite formation
Geology (Boulder) (June 2012) 40 (8): 675-678

Abstract

Barite (BaSO (sub 4) ) is found throughout the ocean, yet seawater is undersaturated with respect to barite, and organisms that could account for the abundance of barite have not yet been identified. The mechanism for barite formation in seawater is not fully understood. Here we show that marine bacteria have the ability to precipitate barite through a metabolically mediated biomineralization process. We precipitated barite in laboratory experiments in the presence of several strains of marine bacteria grown on yeast media enriched with barium (Ba); barite did not precipitate under identical conditions in killed-bacteria controls. The crystals develop from amorphous, phosphorous-rich spherical precursors with fibrous internal textures, common in bacterial mineral precipitation. Bacterial mediation of barite precipitation can explain the distribution of barite in the water column and the occurrence of barite crystals in organic-rich sinking aggregates where bacteria are concentrated. This finding has implications for the use of barite and Ba proxies in paleoceanographic research.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 40
Serial Issue: 8
Title: Precipitation of barite by marine bacteria; a possible mechanism for marine barite formation
Affiliation: Universidad de Granada, Departamento de Microbiologia, Granada, Spain
Pages: 675-678
Published: 20120608
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 42
Accession Number: 2012-065510
Categories: Mineralogy of non-silicatesOceanography
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: Accessed on July 2, 2012
Illustration Description: illus.
Source Medium: WWW
Secondary Affiliation: Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra, ESP, SpainUniversity of California at Santa Cruz, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201234
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