Mn(II)-oxidizing microbes have an integral role in the biogeochemical cycling of manganese, iron, nitrogen, carbon, sulfur, and several nutrients and trace metals. There is great interest in mechanistically understanding these cycles and defining the importance of Mn(II)-oxidizing bacteria in modern and ancient geochemical environments. Linking Mn(II) oxidation to cellular function, although still enigmatic, continues to drive efforts to characterize manganese biomineralization. Recently, complexed-Mn(III) has been shown to be a transient intermediate in Mn(II) oxidation to Mn(IV), suggesting that the reaction might involve a unique multicopper oxidase system capable of a two-electron oxidation of the substrate. In biogenic and abiotic synthesis experiments, the application of synchrotron-based X-ray scattering and spectroscopic techniques has significantly increased our understanding of the oxidation state and relatively amorphous structure (i.e. delta-MnO(2)-like) of biogenic oxides, providing a new blueprint for the structural signature of biogenic Mn oxides.