Stockholm university logo, link to start page

Microbe-Mediated Mn Oxidation—A Proposed Model of Mineral Formation

combination of different illustrations about microbe

Manganese oxides occur in a wide range of environmental settings either as coatings on rocks, sediment, and soil particles, or as discrete grains. Although the production of biologically mediated Mn oxides is well established, relatively little is known about microbial-specific strategies for utilizing Mn in the environment and how these affect the morphology, structure, and chemistry of associated mineralizations. Defining such strategies and characterizing the associated mineral properties would contribute to a better understanding of their impact on the local environment and possibly facilitate evaluation of biogenicity in recent and past Mn accumulations. Here, we supple-ment field data from a Mn rock wall deposit in the Ytterby mine, Sweden, with data retrieved from culturing Mn oxidizers isolated from this site. Microscopic and spectroscopic techniques are used to characterize field site products and Mn precipitates generated by four isolated bacteria (Hy-drogenophaga sp., Pedobacter sp., Rhizobium sp., and Nevskia sp.) and one fungal-bacterial co-culture (Cladosporium sp.— Hydrogenophaga sp. Rhizobium sp.— Nevskia sp.). Two of the isolates (Pedobacter sp. and Nevskia sp.) are previously unknown Mn oxidizers. At the field site, the onset of Mn oxide mineralization typically occurs in areas associated with globular wad-like particles and microbial traces. The particles serve as building blocks in the majority of the microstructures, either forming the base for further growth into laminated dendrites-botryoids or added as components to an exist-ing structure. The most common nanoscale structures are networks of Mn oxide sheets structurally related to birnessite. The sheets are typically constructed of very few layers and elongated along the octahedral chains. In places, the sheets bend and curl under to give a scroll-like appearance. Cul-turing experiments show that growth conditions (biofilm or planktonic) affect the ability to oxidize Mn and that taxonomic affiliation influences crystallite size, structure, and average oxidation state as well as the onset location of Mn precipitation.

Susanne Sjöberg, Changxun Yu, Courtney W. Stairs, Bert Allard, Rolf Hallberg, Sara Henriksson, Mats Åström and Christophe Dupraz, 2021. Microbe-Mediated Mn Oxidation—A Proposed Model of Mineral Formation. Minerals 2021, 11, 1146.