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Role of Fungi in the Biomineralization of Calcite

Laboratory of Microbiology, University of Neuchâtel, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics, University of Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Karim Benzerara, Jennyfer Miot and Thibaud Coradin
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 41;
Received: 29 February 2016 / Revised: 25 April 2016 / Accepted: 28 April 2016 / Published: 5 May 2016
PDF [9840 KB, uploaded 5 May 2016]


In the field of microbial biomineralization, much of the scientific attention is focused on processes carried out by prokaryotes, in particular bacteria, even though fungi are also known to be involved in biogeochemical cycles in numerous ways. They are traditionally recognized as key players in organic matter recycling, as nutrient suppliers via mineral weathering, as well as large producers of organic acids such as oxalic acid for instance, an activity leading to the genesis of various metal complexes such as metal-oxalate. Their implications in the transformation of various mineral and metallic compounds has been widely acknowledged during the last decade, however, currently, their contribution to the genesis of a common biomineral, calcite, needs to be more thoroughly documented. Calcite is observed in many ecosystems and plays an essential role in the biogeochemical cycles of both carbon (C) and calcium (Ca). It may be physicochemical or biogenic in origin and numerous organisms have been recognized to control or induce its biomineralization. While fungi have often been suspected of being involved in this process in terrestrial environments, only scarce information supports this hypothesis in natural settings. As a result, calcite biomineralization by microbes is still largely attributed to bacteria at present. However, in some terrestrial environments there are particular calcitic habits that have been described as being fungal in origin. In addition to this, several studies dealing with axenic cultures of fungi have demonstrated the ability of fungi to produce calcite. Examples of fungal biomineralization range from induced to organomineralization processes. More examples of calcite biomineralization related to direct fungal activity, or at least to their presence, have been described within the last decade. However, the peculiar mechanisms leading to calcite biomineralization by fungi remain incompletely understood and more research is necessary, posing new exciting questions linked to microbial biomineralization processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomineralization; fungi; CaCO3; calcite; geomycology biomineralization; fungi; CaCO3; calcite; geomycology

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Bindschedler, S.; Cailleau, G.; Verrecchia, E. Role of Fungi in the Biomineralization of Calcite. Minerals 2016, 6, 41.

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