Microbe-mineral interactions occur in diverse modern environments, from the deep sea and subsurface rocks to soils and surface aquatic environments. They may have played a central role in the geochemical cycling of major (e.g., C, Fe, Ca, Mn, S, P) and trace (e.g., Ni, Mo, As, Cr) elements over Earth's history. Such interactions include electron transfer at the microbe-mineral interface that left traces in the rock record. Geomicrobiology consists in studying interactions at these organic-mineral interfaces in modern samples and looking for traces of past microbe-mineral interactions recorded in ancient rocks. Specific tools are required to probe these interfaces and to understand the mechanisms of interaction between microbes and minerals from the scale of the biofilm to the nanometer scale. In this review, we focus on recent advances in electron microscopy, in particular in cryoelectron microscopy, and on a panel of electrochemical and synchrotron-based methods that have recently provided new understanding and imaging of the microbe-mineral interface, ultimately opening new fields to be explored.


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