In the last few years, the wealth of new information on microbial diversity, metabolic capabilities, and environmental constraints has led to significant insights into the ways in which microbes interact with their local environments. Indeed, microbes are integral to mineral dissolution, sorption and precipitation reactions, aqueous redox processes, and, ultimately, global elemental cycles. In this regard, they have helped shape our planet over the last 4 billion years and made it habitable for higher forms of life.

The role of microbial communities in driving the major sedimentary diagenetic reactions is one aspect of geomicrobiology that has received significant attention. Through...

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