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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2013 Feb;79(4):1302-8. doi: 10.1128/AEM.03008-12. Epub 2012 Dec 14.

Surface orientation affects the direction of cone growth by Leptolyngbya sp. strain C1, a likely architect of coniform structures Octopus Spring (Yellowstone National Park).

Author information

1
Department of Biological Science, Center for Applied Biotechnology Studies, California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, California, USA.

Abstract

Laminated, microbially produced stromatolites within the rock record provide some of the earliest evidence for life on Earth. The chemical, physical, and biological factors that lead to the initiation of these organosedimentary structures and shape their morphology are unclear. Modern coniform structures with morphological features similar to stromatolites are found on the surface of cyanobacterial/microbial mats. They display a vertical element of growth, can have lamination, can be lithified, and observably grow with time. To begin to understand the microbial processes and interactions required for cone formation, we determined the phylogenetic composition of the microbial community of a coniform structure from a cyanobacterial mat at Octopus Spring, Yellowstone National Park, and reconstituted coniform structures in vitro. The 16S rRNA clone library from the coniform structure was dominated by Leptolyngbya sp. Other cyanobacteria and heterotrophic bacteria were present in much lower abundance. The same Leptolyngbya sp. identified in the clone library was also enriched in the laboratory and could produce cones in vitro. When coniform structures were cultivated in the laboratory, the initial incubation conditions were found to influence coniform morphology. In addition, both the angle of illumination and the orientation of the surface affected the angle of cone formation demonstrating how external factors can influence coniform, and likely, stromatolite morphology.

PMID:
23241986
PMCID:
PMC3568628
DOI:
10.1128/AEM.03008-12
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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