Searching for microbial contribution to micritization of shallow marine sediments

Elisa Garuglieri, Ramona Marasco, Charlene Odobel, Viswasanthi Chandra, Thomas Teillet, Camila Areias, Mónica Sánchez-Román*, Volker Vahrenkamp*, Daniele Daffonchio*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Micritization is an early diagenetic process that gradually alters primary carbonate sediment grains through cycles of dissolution and reprecipitation of microcrystalline calcite (micrite). Typically observed in modern shallow marine environments, micritic textures have been recognized as a vital component of storage and flow in hydrocarbon reservoirs, attracting scientific and economic interests. Due to their endolithic activity and the ability to promote nucleation and reprecipitation of carbonate crystals, microorganisms have progressively been shown to be key players in micritization, placing this process at the boundary between the geological and biological realms. However, published research is mainly based on geological and geochemical perspectives, overlooking the biological and ecological complexity of microbial communities of micritized sediments. In this paper, we summarize the state-of-the-art and research gaps in micritization from a microbial ecology perspective. Since a growing body of literature successfully applies in vitro and in situ ‘fishing’ strategies to unveil elusive microorganisms and expand our knowledge of microbial diversity, we encourage their application to the study of micritization. By employing these strategies in micritization research, we advocate promoting an interdisciplinary approach/perspective to identify and understand the overlooked/neglected microbial players and key pathways governing this phenomenon and their ecology/dynamics, reshaping our comprehension of this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere16573
JournalEnvironmental microbiology
Issue number2
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Applied Microbiology International and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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