Diversity, Ecology and Evolution of Microbes

ANR project - MICROBIALITES: Biogeochemical determinants of microbialite formation

MICROBIALITES is a multi-parter project:

P1. Puri Lopez-Garcia (PI), ESE, Université Paris-Saclay

P2. Karim Benzerara (co-PI), IMPMC, Sorbonne Universités

P3. Christophe Thomazo, Université de Bourgogne

P4. Yvan Zivanovic, I2BC, Université Paris-Saclay

External collaboration: Rosaluz Tavera (UNAM, México)

MICROBIALITES is an interdisciplinary project at the geology-chemistry-biology interface to decipher microbialite formation process from the nanoscale to the macroscale. Stromatolites and, more generally, microbialites are organosedimentary structures formed under the influence of phylogenetically and functionally diverse microbial communities in interaction with abiotic factors. They are C reservoirs (as biomass and carbonates) on the geological time scale. Fossil stromatolites represent the oldest undisputed evidence of life on Earth (~3.7 Ga). Yet, the specific identity and functions of associated microorganisms and the local environmental conditions resulting in their formation and long-term preservation are poorly understood. We will combine different types of analyses (‘omics’ methods, (cryo)microscopy, morphology, mineralogy, stable isotopes) to culture-based carbonatogenesis experiments and natural microbialites from freshwater systems (Mexican crater lakes) to identify common determinants of microbialite formation.