Book Chapter

The Molecular Genetics of Microbial Biomineralization



Skeffington AW (2022) The Molecular Genetics of Microbial Biomineralization. In: Springer International Publishing, pp. 87-123.

Microbial organisms are responsible for the synthesis of some of the most elaborate of biominerals. In particular, diatoms make intricate silica frustules and coccolithophores make morphologically complex CaCO3 scales. The significance of these algae and their biominerals in the natural environment, as well as the potential to use them in biotechnology, makes understanding the molecular genetic underpinnings of biomineralization in these organisms an important research area. In this chapter I discuss our current understanding of the molecular genetics of biomineralization in diatoms and coccolithophores while highlighting gaps in our knowledge. I also compare these intracellular biomineralization processes with those in magnetotactic bacteria, to emphasize commonalities and differences in the genetic blueprints of these biominerals. After considering the regulation of coccolithophore and diatom biomineralization, outstanding question, methodological opportunities, and future directions of research are discussed.

ContributorDr Alastair Skeffington
FundersAlexander von Humboldt Foundation
Publication date31/12/2022
Publication date online08/05/2022
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISBN9783030808068; 9783030808075

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Dr Alastair Skeffington

Dr Alastair Skeffington

Lecturer in Environmental Genomics, Biological and Environmental Sciences