Bacteria are small, prokaryotic, microorganisms that are ubiquitous in surface and subsurface terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Prokaryotes comprise two Domains (Superkingdoms) in the biological taxonomic hierarchy, the Bacteria and the Archaea. They exhibit remarkable diversity both genetically and metabolically even within the same microenvironment and they are thought to play a major role in the deposition and weathering of minerals in the earth’s crust. The synthesis of minerals by prokaryotes can be grouped into two canonical modes: 1) biologically induced mineralization (BIM) and 2) biologically controlled mineralization (BCM) (Lowenstam 1981; Lowenstam and Weiner 1989). In this chapter,...

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