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Viral Lysis of Photosynthesizing Microbes As a Mechanism for Calcium Carbonate Nucleation in Seawater

Overview of attention for article published in Frontiers in Microbiology, December 2016
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Title
Viral Lysis of Photosynthesizing Microbes As a Mechanism for Calcium Carbonate Nucleation in Seawater
Published in
Frontiers in Microbiology, December 2016
DOI 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01958
Pubmed ID
Authors

John T. Lisle, Lisa L. Robbins

Abstract

Removal of carbon through the precipitation and burial of calcium carbonate in marine sediments constitutes over 70% of the total carbon on Earth and is partitioned between coastal and pelagic zones. The precipitation of authigenic calcium carbonate in seawater, however, has been hotly debated because despite being in a supersaturated state, there is an absence of persistent precipitation. One of the explanations for this paradox is the geochemical conditions in seawater cannot overcome the activation energy barrier for the first step in any precipitation reaction; nucleation. Here we show that virally induced rupturing of photosynthetic cyanobacterial cells releases cytoplasmic-associated bicarbonate at concentrations ~23-fold greater than in the surrounding seawater, thereby shifting the carbonate chemistry toward the homogenous nucleation of one or more of the calcium carbonate polymorphs. Using geochemical reaction energetics, we show the saturation states (Ω) in typical seawater for calcite (Ω = 4.3), aragonite (Ω = 3.1), and vaterite (Ω = 1.2) are significantly elevated following the release and diffusion of the cytoplasmic bicarbonate (Ωcalcite = 95.7; Ωaragonite = 68.5; Ωvaterite = 25.9). These increases in Ω significantly reduce the activation energy for nuclei formation thresholds for all three polymorphs, but only vaterite nucleation is energetically favored. In the post-lysis seawater, vaterite's nuclei formation activation energy is significantly reduced from 1.85 × 10(-17) J to 3.85 × 10(-20) J, which increases the nuclei formation rate from highly improbable (<1.0 nuclei cm(-3) s(-1)) to instantaneous (8.60 × 10(25) nuclei cm(-3) s(-1)). The proposed model for homogenous nucleation of calcium carbonate in seawater describes a mechanism through which the initial step in the production of carbonate sediments may proceed. It also presents an additional role of photosynthesizing microbes and their viruses in marine carbon cycles and reveals these microorganisms are a collective repository for concentrated and reactive dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) that is currently not accounted for in global carbon budgets and carbonate sediment diagenesis models.

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The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 2 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 11 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 11 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 4 36%
Student > Master 3 27%
Researcher 2 18%
Student > Doctoral Student 1 9%
Student > Bachelor 1 9%
Other 0 0%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Earth and Planetary Sciences 4 36%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 3 27%
Environmental Science 2 18%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 1 9%
Immunology and Microbiology 1 9%
Other 0 0%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 19 December 2016.
All research outputs
#6,383,961
of 8,794,065 outputs
Outputs from Frontiers in Microbiology
#4,943
of 6,871 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#195,391
of 301,920 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Frontiers in Microbiology
#767
of 1,195 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 8,794,065 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 23rd percentile – i.e., 23% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 6,871 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 4.8. This one is in the 22nd percentile – i.e., 22% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 301,920 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one is in the 30th percentile – i.e., 30% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1,195 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 30th percentile – i.e., 30% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.