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Development and application of high-resolution imaging techniques for morphological and chemical characterization of microfossils

Grant number: 16/25681-9
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 10, 2017
Effective date (End): March 09, 2018
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Geosciences - Geophysics
Principal researcher:Douglas Galante
Grantee:Lara Maldanis Cerqueira Peres
Supervisor abroad: Loïc Bertrand
Home Institution: Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais (CNPEM). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovações (Brasil). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: IPANEMA - Ancient Materials Research Platform, France  
Associated to the scholarship:15/21810-6 - Development and aplication of high resolution imaging techniques for morphological characterization of microfossils, BP.DR


Microfossils are morphological biosignatures of microorganisms preserved in the geological record and comprise the oldest direct record of life on Earth. Their study can provide information about the palaeoenvironment and the origin and evolution of life on the Planet. However, due to the high level of geological processing over billions of years, the micrometric size and the chemical composition (highly dense and homogeneous rocks), the study of such structures through X-ray techniques, including imaging and spectroscopic ones, has been limited. Many questions about their morphology, preservation and biogenicity remain unsolved due to these past limitations.With the recent development of X-ray micro and nanoprobes on synchrotron light sources, the application of a multiscale analysis approach is now possible. The use of micro-analytical techniques based on different physical phenomena has been proposed as a potential approach to overcome these limitations, exploring both the morphology and chemical composition of the samples in its geological and paleoenvironmental context.This project aims to develop and apply a multiscale X-ray analysis approach using micro-CT, micro-XRF, micro-XAS and ptychography on Brazilian microfossils, complementing more conventional techniques already being used: confocal laser Scanning microscopy, micro-Raman and scanning and transmission electron microscopies. Two and three-dimension analysis will be used to characterize subcellular structures that could attest the biogenicity of specimens, as well as to evaluate their morphology and phylogenetic affinity. These techniques require a coherent X-ray source, with micro and nanometric beam sizes, as it is available at the 3rd generation synchrotron SOLEIL, in Paris-Saclay. The sample preparation methodology, a crucial step for microfossil samples, will be developed jointly with the IPANEMA research team. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MALDANIS, L.; HICKMAN-LEWIS, K.; VEREZHAK, M.; GUERIAU, P.; GUIZAR-SICAIROS, M.; JAQUETO, P.; TRINDADE, R. I. F.; ROSSI, A. L.; BERENGUER, F.; WESTALL, F.; et al. Nanoscale 3D quantitative imaging of 1.88 Ga Gunflint microfossils reveals novel insights into taphonomic and biogenic characters. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 10, n. 1, . (15/21810-6, 16/25681-9, 16/06114-6)
CALLEFO, FLAVIA; MALDANIS, LARA; TEIXEIRA, VERONICA C.; DE OLIVEIRA ABANS, RODRIGO ADRIAN; MONFREDINI, THIAGO; RODRIGUES, FABIO; GALANTE, DOUGLAS. Evaluating Biogenicity on the Geological Record With Synchrotron-Based Techniques. FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, v. 10, . (15/21810-6, 16/25681-9)

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