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First Observation of Unicellular Organisms Concentrating Arsenic in ACC Intracellular Inclusions in Lake Waters

Published inGeosciences, vol. 12, no. 1, 32
Publication date2022-01-08
First online date2022-01-08
Abstract

In unicellular organisms, intracellular inclusions of amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) were initially described in cyanobacteria and, later, in unicellular eukaryotes from Lake Geneva (Switzerland/France). Inclusions in unicellular eukaryotes, named micropearls, consist of hydrated ACCs, frequently enriched in Sr or Ba, and displaying internal oscillatory zonations, due to variations in the Ba:Ca or Sr:Ca ratios. An analysis of our database, consisting of 1597 micropearl analyses from Lake Geneva and 34 from Lake Titicaca (Bolivia/Peru), showed that a certain number of Sr- and Ba-enriched micropearls from these lakes contain As in amounts measurable by EDXS. A Q-mode statistical analysis confirmed the existence of five chemically distinct morpho-chemical groups of As-bearing micropearls, among which was a new category identified in Lake Geneva, where As is often associated with Mg. This new type of micropearl is possibly produced in a small (7–12 μm size) bi-flagellated organism. Micropearls from Lake Titicaca, which contain Sr, were found in an organism very similar to Tetraselmis cordiformis, which was observed earlier in Lake Geneva. Lake Titicaca micropearls contain larger As amounts, which can be explained by the high As concentration in the water of this lake. The ubiquity of this observed biomineralization process points to the need for a better understanding of the role of amorphous or crystalline calcium carbonates in As cycling in surface waters.

Citation (ISO format)
MARTIGNIER, Agathe et al. First Observation of Unicellular Organisms Concentrating Arsenic in ACC Intracellular Inclusions in Lake Waters. In: Geosciences, 2022, vol. 12, n° 1, p. 32. doi: 10.3390/geosciences12010032
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ISSN of the journal2076-3263
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