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Why are some microorganisms boring?

Cockell, Charles S. and Herrera, Aude (2008). Why are some microorganisms boring? Trends in Microbiology, 16(3) pp. 101–106.

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Microorganisms from diverse environments actively bore into rocks, contributing significantly to rock weathering. Carbonates are the most common substrate into which they bore, although there are also reports of microbial borings into volcanic glass. One of the most intriguing questions in microbial evolutionary biology is why some microorganisms bore. A variety of possible selection pressures, including nutrient acquisition, protection from UV radiation and predatory grazing could promote boring. None of these pressures is mutually exclusive and many of them could have acted in concert with varying strengths in different environments to favour the development of microorganisms that bore. We suggest that microbial boring might have begun in some environments as a mechanism against entombment by mineralization.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2007 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN: 0966-842X
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 27301
Depositing User: Charles Cockell
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2011 11:53
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 09:50
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