Pavilion lake microbialites: Morphological, molecular and biochemical evidence for a cold-water transition to colonial aggregates

Dirk Schulze-Makuch, Darlene Lim, Bernard Laval, Carol Turse, Marina Resendes de Sousa António, Olivia Chan, Stephen B. Pointing, Allyson Brady, Donnie Reid, Louis N. Irwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The presence of microbialite structures in a freshwater, dimictic mid-latitude lake and their establishment after the last ice age about 10,000 years ago is puzzling. Freshwater calcite microbialites at Pavilion Lake, British Columbia, Canada, consist of a complex community of microorganisms that collectively form large, ordered structured aggregates. This distinctive assemblage of freshwater calcite microbialites was studied through standard microbial methods, morphological observations, phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis, DNA sequencing and the identification of quorum sensing molecules. Our results suggest that the microbialites may represent a transitional form from the exclusively prokaryotic colonial precursors of stromatolites to the multicellular organismic aggregates that give rise to coral reefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-37
Number of pages17
JournalLife
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 27 2012

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Biomass
  • Community
  • Ecology
  • Microbialite
  • Quorum sensing
  • Stromatolite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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