4: In situ Structure and Function of Biofilm-Systems during Mineralisation of Carbonates

Principal investigator and Co-PIs

Project summary

The cellular and polymeric components of a biofilm play a key role in sedimentary rock formation of various habitats. The project will investigate biological structures by suitable in situ methods as well as functional elements involved in mineralisation.

The aim of the study is to explain the structure and function of biofilm components during carbonate precipitation. The investigation of biofilms during subsequent growth phases using 1-photon and 2-photon laser scanning microscopy, measurement of micro- and macro-scale gradients and biochemical analysis of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) should elucidate the interaction of biofilm architecture and mineralization.
Biofilm structure will be described not only phenomenologically, but also by includes the application of suitable molecular probes. In addition the image data sets recorded will be quantified three-dimensionally using advanced digital image analysis.
Finally, these in situ data will be combined with results from chemical analysis of biofilm polymers in order to gain a better understanding of cellular and extracellular components during biofilm calcification in various habitats


Dr. Thomas Neu, UFZ Magdeburg