Benefits of bacterial biomineralization

V. R. Phoenix, K. O. Konhauser

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Terry Beveridge has been a tremendous influence on my work and career, right from the word go. In fact the very first time I was introduced to the concept of microbial biomineralization, it was by one of Terry’s former postdocs (Kurt Konhauser)during a masters class at Leeds University, UK, back in 1996.Quickly hooked on the subject, a few months later I found myself beginning my PhD studies on biomineralization in hot-spring settings. Needless to say, it was the papers by Terryand his group which formed the bulk of my early readings on this subject. Whether it was Beveridge and Murray’s pioneering early work on metal sequestration by the cell wall(Beveridge & Murray, 1976, 1980), the impact of protonmotive force on metal binding (Urrutia et al ., 1992), the first report on hot-spring biomineralization (Ferris et al ., 1986),the role of metal binding in fossilization (Ferris et al ., 1988)or the role of S-layers in mineral nucleation (Schultze-Lam et al ., 1992), it was clear Terry and colleagues had discovered a veritable smorgasbord of bacteria–metal interactions. All of these Beveridge publications and more provided me with a fundamental understanding and solid foundation on which to build my own research. But this is true for anyone working in the field. Any publication that refers to bacterial metal adsorption and biomineralization (and there are many) will have numerous Beveridge references and all will be underpinned by Terry’s theories. His influence is far reaching indeed. Terry has always had an incredible ability to cross-link disparate areas of science, to view problems from novel angles and thus shed a bright new light on many areas of microbiology. For example, his incredible understanding of the true complexity and dynamicity of cell wall composition and structure has led us to appreciate far more how this complex surface interacts with its surrounding metals and minerals. A particular highlight for me was his work illuminating how gram-negativelipopolysaccharide (LPS) and capsular material are dynamic,heterogeneous and environmentally sensitive materials which intimately control metal nucleation and mineral adhesion(e.g. Makin & Beveridge, 1996; Langley & Beveridge, 1999;Korenevsky et al ., 2002; Korenevsky & Beveridge, 2007).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-308
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Early online date16 Mar 2008
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • biomineralization
  • hot spring
  • microbiology


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