Bacterial survival strategies during biomineralisation
Apart from specialist bacteria such as magnetotactic bacteria that form functional minerals under strict genetic control in terms of form and location, most bacterial biomineralisation is an incidental by-product of metabolic activities and often occurs on the surface of the cell, potentially leading to cell entombment.
We have been exploring what strategies such bacteria might deploy to avoid self-entombment, and our findings suggest a fundamental role for surface macromolecules in controlling biomineral morphologies, offering scope for using such morphologies as biosignatures.
The astrobiology seminar series is run by the UK Centre for Astrobiology based in the School of Physics & Astronomy. Astrobiology is a multi-disciplinary subject and the seminar series actively encourages attendance by undergraduates, postgraduates and academic staff from other departments..