Abstract

Results from transmission electron microscopy provide direct evidence for cyanobacterial biomineralization of gypsum and calcite in aquatic environments. Laboratory simulations using filter-sterilized natural lake water inoculated with Synechococcus sp., isolated from Fayette ville Green Lake, New York, revealed epicellular biomineralization of gypsum, calcite, and magnesite. Experimental, electron microscopical, and sedimentological evidence indicates that Synechococcus is responsible for a major proportion of the marl sediment and carbonate bioherms in Green Lake. The elucidated role of Synechococcus in biomineralization and its ubiquitous distribution in nature have widespread implications for cyanobacterial mineralization in marine and freshwater environments since late Archean time.

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