Compartmentalization of gypsum and halite associated with cyanobacteria in saline soil crusts

Carmelo Dazzi, Giuseppe Lo Papa, Pietro Iavazzo, Loredana Canfora, Flavia Pinzari, Paola Adamo, Anne D. Jungblut, Livia Vittori Antisari, Anna Benedetti, Elisa Vendramin, Loredana Canfora

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The interface between biological and geochemical components in surface crust of a saline soil was investigated using X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), and variable pressure scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in combination with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry (EDS). Mineral compounds such as halite and gypsum were identified crystallized around filaments of cyanobacteria. A total of 92 genera were identified from the bacterial community based on 16S gene pyrosequencing analysis. The occurrence of the gypsum crystals, their shapes and compartmentalization suggested that they separated NaCl from the immediate microenvironment of the cyanobacteria, and that some cyanobacteria and communities of sulfur bacteria may had a physical control over the distinctive halite and gypsum structures produced. This suggests that cyanobacteria might directly or indirectly promote the formation of a protective envelope made of calcium and sulfur-based compounds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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