Articles | Volume 20, issue 19
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-20-4183-2023
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-20-4183-2023
Research article
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12 Oct 2023
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 12 Oct 2023

Biomineralization of amorphous Fe-, Mn- and Si-rich mineral phases by cyanobacteria under oxic and alkaline conditions

Karim Benzerara, Agnès Elmaleh, Maria Ciobanu, Alexis De Wever, Paola Bertolino, Miguel Iniesto, Didier Jézéquel, Purificación López-García, Nicolas Menguy, Elodie Muller, Fériel Skouri-Panet, Sufal Swaraj, Rosaluz Tavera, Christophe Thomazo, and David Moreira

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Co-editor-in-chief
This study documents the formation of Fe, Mn and Si amorphous mineral phases by very small cyanobacteria living in oxic, alkaline lakes. This finding has implications for using sedimentary Fe/Mn enrichments as a proxy for redox cycling in the past and extends the documented evidence for biomineralization of Si-rich phases.
Short summary
Iron and manganese are poorly soluble in oxic and alkaline solutions but much more soluble under anoxic conditions. As a result, authigenic minerals rich in Fe and/or Mn have been viewed as diagnostic of anoxic conditions. However, here we reveal a new case of biomineralization by specific cyanobacteria, forming abundant Fe(III)- and Mn(IV)-rich amorphous phases under oxic conditions in an alkaline lake. This might be an overlooked biotic contribution to the scavenging of Fe from water columns.
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