Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Little-known Marine Decomposers Attract The Attention Of Genome Sequencers

Date:
July 1, 2009
Source:
Stony Brook University
Summary:
Scientists will sequence the genomes of four species of labyrinthulomycetes. These little-known marine species were selected for sequencing as the result of a proposal submitted to the competitive JGI Community Sequencing Program by a team of microbiologists.

Labyrinthulomycetes from Peconic Bay are shown growing on pollen grains.
Credit: Enixy Collado Mercado, Stony Brook University

The Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute (JGI) announced today that they will sequence the genomes of four species of labyrinthulomycetes. These little-known marine species were selected for sequencing as the result of a proposal submitted to the competitive JGI Community Sequencing Program by a team of microbiologists led by Dr. Jackie Collier, assistant professor at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) at Stony Brook University.

"Labyrinthulomycetes are a huge group of organisms that behave ecologically like fungi," said Dr. Collier. "But we know so little about them and there is more diversity among this group than among all the animals you can think of."

Labyrinthulomycetes are single-celled marine decomposers that eat non-living plant, algal, and animal matter. They are ubiquitous and abundant—particularly on dead vegetation and in salt marshes and mangrove swamps. Although most labyrinthulomycetes species are not pathogens, the organisms responsible for eelgrass wasting disease and QPX disease in hard clams are part of this group.

In some regions, labyrinthulomycetes may be as important as bacteria in degrading organic matter. In coastal systems, the abundance of bacteria is tied to levels of organic matter from marine sources, while the abundance of labyrinthulomycetes is more closely tied to levels of particulate organic matter from land sources. This suggests that labyrinthulomycetes may play an important role in the marine carbon cycle by breaking down material that is difficult to degrade. Because labyrinthulomycetes—unlike bacteria—make long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), they are also thought to improve the nutritional value of poor quality organic detritus.

"The genome sequences will provide a quantum leap in our understanding of the physiological capacity of these organisms," said Dr. Collier. "The genes can tell us which enzymes a species is capable of producing, which in turn tells us what kinds of material they can potentially degrade and what role they play in a marine ecosystem's food web."

In addition, genomic information might suggest ways to exploit labyrinthulomycetes in novel biotechnological applications. Labyrinthulomycetes produce a wide array of enzymes and some species can degrade crude oil. Also, some labyrinthulomycetes are currently cultured for nutritional supplements. If PUFAs derived from labyrinthulomycetes were to replace fish oils and meal used in aquaculture and animal farming, it would likely reduce the number of fish caught for use as animal feed and have a positive impact on the health of the world's oceans.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stony Brook University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Stony Brook University. "Little-known Marine Decomposers Attract The Attention Of Genome Sequencers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629132150.htm>.
Stony Brook University. (2009, July 1). Little-known Marine Decomposers Attract The Attention Of Genome Sequencers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629132150.htm
Stony Brook University. "Little-known Marine Decomposers Attract The Attention Of Genome Sequencers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629132150.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) A collection of dinosaur bones reveal a creature that is far more weird and goofy-looking than scientists originally thought when they found just the arm bones nearly 50 years ago, according to a new report in the journal Nature. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
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