The following topics are covered:
- how microorganisms are classified, the physical constraints governing their growth, molecular approaches to studying microbial diversity, and life in extreme environments
- bioenergetics, microbial metabolic capabilities, and major biogeochemical pathways
- chemical reactivity of the cell surface, metal sorption, and the microbial role in contaminant mobility and bioremediation/biorecovery
- microbiological mineral formation and fossilization
- the function of microorganisms in mineral dissolution and oxidation, and the industrial and environmental ramifications of these processes
- elemental cycling in biofilms, formation of microbialites, and sediment diagenesis
- the events that led to the emergence of life, evolution of metabolic processes, and the diversification of the biosphere.
Artwork from the book is available to instructors at www.blackwellpublishing.com/konhauser.