Recently, numerous studies have examined the possible role of bacterially induced mineral precipitation (organomineralization). Laboratory studies represent an important means to explore these processes, but Gallagher et al. reveal how the presence of phosphate in media (needed for microbial growth) may affect rate, morphology and mineralogy of precipitated minerals. The results of this study reveal potential pitfalls that could cause misinterpretation of laboratory biomineralization experiments.
Phosphate-related artifacts in carbonate mineralization experiments by Kimberley L. Gallagher, Olivier Braissant, Tristan J. Kading, Christophe Dupraz, and Pieter T. Visscher