Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
stromatolite, microbial mat, diatoms, biofilm, Schizothrix, Highborne Cay
A large reef complex with actively growing modern marine stromatolites lies along the eastern shore of Highborne Cay, Exumas. Previous studies identified the cyanobacterium Schizothrix gebeleinii as the predominant microbe involved in the accretion of surface oolytic layers. Here, three additional ooid accreting communities are described. The first is a community with yellow or pink pigmentation populated by the stalked diatoms, Striatella unipunctata, Licmorpha paradoxa, and L. remulus. A lectin-FITC was used to fluorescently label the stalks and demonstrate their presence in the subsurface of the stromatolite. The second community, which formed cohesive pustular masses, was dominated by an unidentified tube diatom. The third community, that formed larger semi-cohesive domal structures, was dominated by a unique coccoid cyanobacterium and a species of Phormidium. Structural analysis with light, confocal, and electron microscopy suggest that all three communities may contribute to the accretion of new ooid grain layers.
Franks, J. (2007). Confocal and Tem Analysis of Microbial Communities in Modern Stromatolites at Highborne Cay, Bahamas (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/553