15. Biomarkers: Informative Molecules for Studies in Geobiology

  1. Andrew H. Knoll2,
  2. Donald E. Canfield3 and
  3. Kurt O. Konhauser4
  1. Roger E. Summons and
  2. Sara A. Lincoln

Published Online: 29 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118280874.ch15

Fundamentals of Geobiology

Fundamentals of Geobiology

How to Cite

Summons, R. E. and Lincoln, S. A. (2012) Biomarkers: Informative Molecules for Studies in Geobiology, in Fundamentals of Geobiology (eds A. H. Knoll, D. E. Canfield and K. O. Konhauser), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118280874.ch15

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge MA 02138, USA

  2. 3

    Institute of Biology Nordic Center for Earth Evolution, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark

  3. 4

    Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E3, Canada

Author Information

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge MA 02139-4307, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 MAR 2012
  2. Published Print: 20 APR 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118280812

Online ISBN: 9781118280874



  • biomarkers, informative molecules for studies in geobiology;
  • biomarker, distinct structural and/or isotopic attributes;
  • origins of biomarkers, biomarker stereochemistry;
  • N-isotopic, of chlorophyll-derived biomarkers;
  • biomarkers, in physiology, phylogeny;
  • lipids, diagnostic of bacteria;
  • forms of bias, biomarkers, for paleoreconstruction;
  • biomarkers, biogeochemical with mass extinction events;
  • the genetics, in biomarker biosynthesis;
  • biological biomarkers, robust tools in geobiology


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Origins of biomarkers

  • Diagenesis

  • Isotopic compositions

  • Stereochemical considerations

  • Lipid biosynthetic pathways

  • Classification of lipids

  • Lipids diagnostic of Archaea

  • Lipids diagnostic of Bacteria

  • Lipids of Eukarya

  • Preservable cores

  • Outlook

  • Acknowledgements

  • References