Nutritional Behavior, Morphogenesis Cycle and Sediment Consolidation Capabilities of the Calcareous Bacteria Derived from Coastal Marine Sediments

Samples from stones and sediments of a coastal site in the Bay of Bengal (Indian Ocean) yielded as many as 39 new bacterial isolates capable of precipitating calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Molecular identification revealed that these bacteria belonged predominantly to the phyla Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. Culture studies showed that nitrogen sources controlled the metabolic pathway of crystal precipitation, which was restricted to three reaction pathways, namely the deamination of amino acids, ureolytic nitrate reduction and dissimilatory nitrate reduction. The sequence of crystal morphogenesis clearly showed that bacterial precipitation of CaCO3 led to predominantly spherical structures with time. The present investigation provides the first demonstration of the bacterial contribution and mechanisms involved in the calcareous consolidation of stones and sediments by bacteria in the marine environment.