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Influence of bedrock mineral composition on microbial diversity in a subglacial environment

Andrew C. Mitchell, Melissa J. Lafreniere, Mark L. Skidmore and Eric S. Boyd
Influence of bedrock mineral composition on microbial diversity in a subglacial environment
Geology (Boulder) (June 2013) 41 (8): 855-858

Abstract

Microorganisms in subglacial environments drive the chemical weathering of bedrock; however, the influence of bedrock mineralogy on the composition and activity of microbial assemblages in such environments is poorly understood. Here, using a combination of in situ mineral incubation and DNA fingerprinting techniques, we demonstrate that pyrite is the dominant mineralogical control on subglacial bacterial community structure and composition. In addition, we show that the abundance of Fe in the incubated minerals influences the development of mineral-associated biomass. The ubiquitous nature of pyrite in many common bedrock types and high SO (sub 4) (super 2-) concentrations in most glacial meltwaters suggest that pyrite may be a dominant lithogenic control on microbial communities in many subglacial systems. Mineral-based energy may therefore serve a fundamental role in sustaining subglacial microbial populations and enabling their persistence over glacial-interglacial time scales.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 41
Serial Issue: 8
Title: Influence of bedrock mineral composition on microbial diversity in a subglacial environment
Affiliation: Aberystwyth University, Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom
Pages: 855-858
Published: 20130620
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 27
Accession Number: 2013-054376
Categories: Environmental geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
N50°43'60" - N50°43'60", W115°19'60" - W115°19'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Queen's University, CAN, CanadaMontana State University, 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: 201333
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