We here explore the potential of nonphotosynthetic microbes as significant players in the formation and preservation of structures such as microbial mats and soil-like networks. In particular, we focus on organisms such as actinobacteria and fungi, known to feed by osmotic absorption of preformed organic compounds, which we collectively refer to as “osmotrophs” here. We show that they have a fossil record that may be traced far back into the Proterozoic in a range of sedimentary environments.
|Title of host publication||Microbial Mats|
|Subtitle of host publication||Modern and Ancient Microorganisms in Stratified Systems, Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology|
|Editors||J Seckbach, A Oren|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|