Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genomic Tools Reveal New Microbial Phototrophs In The Ocean

Date:
February 12, 2002
Source:
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Summary:
Genomic technologies are now being taken to sea, and are helping researchers discover the identity—and more importantly—the ecological roles, of microbes in the ocean. In a new study published this week in Nature, MBARI microbiologists describe new and diverse groups of photosynthetic bacteria found in oceanic plankton.

MOSS LANDING, California -- Genomic technologies are now being taken to sea, and are helping researchers discover the identity—and more importantly—the ecological roles, of microbes in the ocean. In a new study published this week in Nature, MBARI microbiologists describe new and diverse groups of photosynthetic bacteria found in oceanic plankton.

Related Articles


“It’s an exciting time for microbial oceanography—genomics-based discoveries are changing fundamental paradigms about what kinds of microbes live in marine plankton and how they convert energy from the sun into nourishment for the rest of the oceanic food web,” said Ed DeLong, leader of the research group. The genomic ‘libraries’ of oceanic microbes we study are providing us with a kind of genetic encyclopedia. We can ‘look up’ the identity, properties, and functions of naturally occurring microbes in that encyclopedia. Every time we do, it seems, we find something new.”

In this recent Nature study, MBARI researchers, in collaboration with colleagues from The Institute for Genomic Research, analyzed the genomes of microbes found in Monterey Bay and the central Pacific Ocean. They found that a wide variety of bacterial photosynthetic genes, previously not thought to be significant in marine plankton, are actually widely distributed in ocean waters. The work also showed that the bacterial photosynthetic genes were expressed in oceanic plankton, indicating that these microbes were actively garnering energy from light.

Why is this important? Chlorophyll containing “plant plankton,” or phytoplankton, have long been thought to be the main photosynthetic groups in the ocean. The current MBARI study identifies ecologically significant groups of photosynthetic plankton that don’t contain the chlorophyll found in green plants. The existence of these new types of phototrophs (organisms that get energy directly from light) has stimulated oceanographers to re-think and revise oceanic food web models. Quantifying the impact of such microbes in the food web may help oceanographers balance the global carbon budget sheet.

“Microbial diversity and function in natural environments is not all that well understood. With new tools to compliment more traditional approaches, we can begin to get a more realistic picture of real-world complexity,” said DeLong. “Genomic technology is opening up a whole new and previously unseen world.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. "Genomic Tools Reveal New Microbial Phototrophs In The Ocean." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020207080124.htm>.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. (2002, February 12). Genomic Tools Reveal New Microbial Phototrophs In The Ocean. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020207080124.htm
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. "Genomic Tools Reveal New Microbial Phototrophs In The Ocean." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020207080124.htm (accessed November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pygmy Marmoset Getting a Toothbrush Massage Is the Cutest

Pygmy Marmoset Getting a Toothbrush Massage Is the Cutest

Buzz60 (Nov. 19, 2014) This rescued pygmy marmoset named Ninita is obsessed with her toothbrush. It's cuteness overload, and Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the amazing video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Are Chocolate Makers So Worried?

Why Are Chocolate Makers So Worried?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 19, 2014) Two big chocolate producers are warning the popular treat could run out by 2020 because people are eating it faster than farmers can grow cocoa. Ciara Lee reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tiny Hamster Eating Thanksgiving Meal Breaks the Internet

Tiny Hamster Eating Thanksgiving Meal Breaks the Internet

Buzz60 (Nov. 19, 2014) A tiny hamster and a bunny and rat enjoy a tiny Thanksgiving meal where they stuff themselves to the brim. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the cute video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Giant Panda at Toronto Zoo Loves Somersaulting in the Snow

Giant Panda at Toronto Zoo Loves Somersaulting in the Snow

Buzz60 (Nov. 19, 2014) A giant panda at the Toronto Zoo named Da Mao is celebrating the northeast snowfall by playing and tumbling in the snow in his outdoor enclosure. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins