SETI Talk - Do cyanobacteria use iron for photosynthesis?

Event Details

SETI Talk - Do cyanobacteria use iron for photosynthesis?

Time: May 28, 2013 from 12pm to 1pm
Location: The SETI Institute
Website or Map: https://plus.google.com/event…
Event Type: public talk
Organized By: The SETI Institute
Latest Activity: May 24, 2013

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Event Description

Tuesday, May 28 2013 - 12:00 PM, PDT

Do cyanobacteria use iron for photosynthesis?

Niki Parenteau
SETI Institute

Dr. Parenteau will speak about her research into the origins of photosynthesis and how this might relate to ancient banded iron formations formed during the great oxidation event. Banded Iron Formations (BIFs) are widespread Precambrian sedimentary deposits that accumulated in deep ocean basins with inputs of reduced iron and silica from deep ocean hydrothermal vents.

There is a large scientific debate as to whether abiotic or biotic mechanisms were responsible for the oxidation of mineral assemblages in BIFs. Biotic oxidation could have occurred as a result of the photosynthetic production of oxygen by cyanobacteria, or could have been directly formed by anoxygenic phototrophs or chemolithotrophs.

Dr. Parenteau has been searching for modern descendants of such an ancestral "missing link" cyanobacterium in the phototrophic mats at Chocolate Pots, a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park. Dr. Parenteau will explain how her study of the biomats using C-14 carbon uptake experiments have tantalizingly showed that the cyanobacteria grow anoxygenically using reduced iron as an electron donor for photosynthesis in situ

Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/ciu7psvk74e8d3164njroatq44s

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