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dc.contributor.authorSauro, Francesco
dc.contributor.authorCappelletti, Martina
dc.contributor.authorGhezzi, Daniele
dc.contributor.authorColumbu, Andrea
dc.contributor.authorHong, Pei-Ying
dc.contributor.authorZowawi, Hosam Mamoon
dc.contributor.authorCarbone, Cristina
dc.contributor.authorPiccini, Leonardo
dc.contributor.authorVergara, Freddy
dc.contributor.authorZannoni, Davide
dc.contributor.authorDe Waele, Jo
dc.date.accessioned2018-12-10T06:11:11Z
dc.date.available2018-12-10T06:11:11Z
dc.date.issued2018-12-04
dc.identifier.citationSauro F, Cappelletti M, Ghezzi D, Columbu A, Hong P-Y, et al. (2018) Microbial diversity and biosignatures of amorphous silica deposits in orthoquartzite caves. Scientific Reports 8. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-35532-y.
dc.identifier.issn2045-2322
dc.identifier.doi10.1038/s41598-018-35532-y
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/630242
dc.description.abstractChemical mobility of crystalline and amorphous SiO2 plays a fundamental role in several geochemical and biological processes, with silicate minerals being the most abundant components of the Earth's crust. Although the oldest evidences of life on Earth are fossilized in microcrystalline silica deposits, little is known about the functional role that bacteria can exert on silica mobility at non-thermal and neutral pH conditions. Here, a microbial influence on silica mobilization event occurring in the Earth's largest orthoquartzite cave is described. Transition from the pristine orthoquartzite to amorphous silica opaline precipitates in the form of stromatolite-like structures is documented through mineralogical, microscopic and geochemical analyses showing an increase of metals and other bioessential elements accompanied by permineralized bacterial cells and ultrastructures. Illumina sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene describes the bacterial diversity characterizing the consecutive amorphization steps to provide clues on the biogeochemical factors playing a role in the silica solubilization and precipitation processes. These results show that both quartz weathering and silica mobility are affected by chemotrophic bacterial communities, providing insights for the understanding of the silica cycle in the subsurface.
dc.description.sponsorshipWe would like to thank the Rector Prof. F. Ubertini, the Vice-Rector for Research Prof. A. Rotolo and the Governing Academic Bodies of the University of Bologna (UNIBO) for their support. This research has benefited from the permit for speleological research from the Instituto National de Parques and the patronage of the Government of Bolivar State from Venezuela, the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Italy and the Italian Speleological Society. The project received economic support of many private sponsors to whom we are deeply grateful: Rolex Award for Enterprise, Raul Arias with Raul Helicopteros, Geotec S.P.A., Dolomite, Intermatica, Ferrino, Napapijri, De Walt, Scurion, Miles Beyond and Allemano Metrology. Our gratitude goes also to the speleologists from Theraphosa and La Venta exploring teams, to Prof. E. Dinelli for XRF analyses at UNIBO and L. Negretti for the SEM analysis at UNIGE. Many thanks also to T. Conte who supported the 2013 and 2014 expeditions and to T. Bontognali for the useful suggestions on the manuscript. Two anonymous reviewers significantly contributed to improve the quality of the article by sharing constructive remarks.
dc.publisherSpringer Nature
dc.relation.urlhttps://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-35532-y
dc.rightsThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.titleMicrobial diversity and biosignatures of amorphous silica deposits in orthoquartzite caves
dc.typeArticle
dc.contributor.departmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
dc.contributor.departmentEnvironmental Science and Engineering Program
dc.contributor.departmentWater Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)
dc.identifier.journalScientific Reports
dc.eprint.versionPublisher's Version/PDF
dc.contributor.institutionLa Venta Geographic Explorations Association, 31100, Treviso, Italy.
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Biological Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Bologna, 40126, Bologna, Italy.
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Pharmacy and BioTechnology, University of Bologna, Bologna, 40126, Italy.
dc.contributor.institutionCollege of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, 3130, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
dc.contributor.institutionThe University of Queensland, Centre for Clinical Research (UQCCR), Herston, 4029, Australia.
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Earth, Environment and Life, University of Genoa, Genoa, 16132, Italy.
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Earth Sciences, University of Florence, 50121, Florence, Italy.
dc.contributor.institutionTeraphosa Exploring Team, Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela.
kaust.personHong, Pei-Ying
refterms.dateFOA2018-12-10T06:37:12Z
dc.date.published-online2018-12-04
dc.date.published-print2018-12


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This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.