Subboreal aridity and scytonemin in the Holocene Black Sea

James M. Fulton, Michael Allan Arthur, Katherine Haines Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many species of cyanobacteria tolerate exposure to harmful levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation by producing photoprotective pigments. Scytonemin, found in extracellular polysaccharide sheaths, is produced in abundance when terrestrial or benthic cyanobacteria are exposed to direct sunlight, such as in desert soil crusts and intertidal mats. It is exclusive to cyanobacteria and therefore can serve as a diagnostic biomarker, particularly for UV-exposure growth conditions. Here we report that it is preserved in abundance in mid-Holocene sedimentary intervals in the Black Sea, a novel deep sea occurrence that demonstrates that scytonemin is resistant to degradation during erosion and transport. C and N isotopic compositions support the interpretation that scytonemin was derived from cyanobacteria in cryptobiotic desert soil, suggestive of expanding aridity during the Subboreal Phase in the Black Sea region. Scytonemin has potential for preservation in black shales, where it may serve as an important biomarker for tracing the evolution and expansion of cyanobacterial populations, especially in association with elevated UV stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalOrganic Geochemistry
Volume49
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012

Fingerprint

Subboreal
aridity
cyanobacterium
Holocene
desert soil
Biomarkers
biomarker
Soils
soil crust
ultraviolet radiation
polysaccharide
Pigments
Ultraviolet radiation
Polysaccharides
deep sea
pigment
Erosion
isotopic composition
Association reactions
erosion

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Cite this

Fulton, James M. ; Arthur, Michael Allan ; Freeman, Katherine Haines. / Subboreal aridity and scytonemin in the Holocene Black Sea. In: Organic Geochemistry. 2012 ; Vol. 49. pp. 47-55.
@article{621fa485747647bb8d2d8d1b9f670c25,
title = "Subboreal aridity and scytonemin in the Holocene Black Sea",
abstract = "Many species of cyanobacteria tolerate exposure to harmful levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation by producing photoprotective pigments. Scytonemin, found in extracellular polysaccharide sheaths, is produced in abundance when terrestrial or benthic cyanobacteria are exposed to direct sunlight, such as in desert soil crusts and intertidal mats. It is exclusive to cyanobacteria and therefore can serve as a diagnostic biomarker, particularly for UV-exposure growth conditions. Here we report that it is preserved in abundance in mid-Holocene sedimentary intervals in the Black Sea, a novel deep sea occurrence that demonstrates that scytonemin is resistant to degradation during erosion and transport. C and N isotopic compositions support the interpretation that scytonemin was derived from cyanobacteria in cryptobiotic desert soil, suggestive of expanding aridity during the Subboreal Phase in the Black Sea region. Scytonemin has potential for preservation in black shales, where it may serve as an important biomarker for tracing the evolution and expansion of cyanobacterial populations, especially in association with elevated UV stress.",
author = "Fulton, {James M.} and Arthur, {Michael Allan} and Freeman, {Katherine Haines}",
year = "2012",
month = "8",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.orggeochem.2012.05.008",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "49",
pages = "47--55",
journal = "Organic Geochemistry",
issn = "0146-6380",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",

}

Subboreal aridity and scytonemin in the Holocene Black Sea. / Fulton, James M.; Arthur, Michael Allan; Freeman, Katherine Haines.

In: Organic Geochemistry, Vol. 49, 01.08.2012, p. 47-55.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Subboreal aridity and scytonemin in the Holocene Black Sea

AU - Fulton, James M.

AU - Arthur, Michael Allan

AU - Freeman, Katherine Haines

PY - 2012/8/1

Y1 - 2012/8/1

N2 - Many species of cyanobacteria tolerate exposure to harmful levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation by producing photoprotective pigments. Scytonemin, found in extracellular polysaccharide sheaths, is produced in abundance when terrestrial or benthic cyanobacteria are exposed to direct sunlight, such as in desert soil crusts and intertidal mats. It is exclusive to cyanobacteria and therefore can serve as a diagnostic biomarker, particularly for UV-exposure growth conditions. Here we report that it is preserved in abundance in mid-Holocene sedimentary intervals in the Black Sea, a novel deep sea occurrence that demonstrates that scytonemin is resistant to degradation during erosion and transport. C and N isotopic compositions support the interpretation that scytonemin was derived from cyanobacteria in cryptobiotic desert soil, suggestive of expanding aridity during the Subboreal Phase in the Black Sea region. Scytonemin has potential for preservation in black shales, where it may serve as an important biomarker for tracing the evolution and expansion of cyanobacterial populations, especially in association with elevated UV stress.

AB - Many species of cyanobacteria tolerate exposure to harmful levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation by producing photoprotective pigments. Scytonemin, found in extracellular polysaccharide sheaths, is produced in abundance when terrestrial or benthic cyanobacteria are exposed to direct sunlight, such as in desert soil crusts and intertidal mats. It is exclusive to cyanobacteria and therefore can serve as a diagnostic biomarker, particularly for UV-exposure growth conditions. Here we report that it is preserved in abundance in mid-Holocene sedimentary intervals in the Black Sea, a novel deep sea occurrence that demonstrates that scytonemin is resistant to degradation during erosion and transport. C and N isotopic compositions support the interpretation that scytonemin was derived from cyanobacteria in cryptobiotic desert soil, suggestive of expanding aridity during the Subboreal Phase in the Black Sea region. Scytonemin has potential for preservation in black shales, where it may serve as an important biomarker for tracing the evolution and expansion of cyanobacterial populations, especially in association with elevated UV stress.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84862225831&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84862225831&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2012.05.008

DO - 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2012.05.008

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84862225831

VL - 49

SP - 47

EP - 55

JO - Organic Geochemistry

JF - Organic Geochemistry

SN - 0146-6380

ER -