Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bacterial 'food supplements' for small algae

Date:
April 9, 2010
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
To boost their diet of mineral nutrients and sunlight, small algae also feast on bacteria in order to grow and fix carbon dioxide. Understanding more about the lifestyle of small algae -- which are major players in CO2 fixation in the ocean -- could help to improve ecological models of oceanic and global changes.

To boost their diet of mineral nutrients and sunlight, small algae also feast on bacteria in order to grow and fix carbon dioxide (CO2). Understanding more about the lifestyle of small algae -- which are major players in CO2 fixation in the ocean -- could help to improve ecological models of oceanic and global changes.

Professor Mike Zubkov from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton presented his study on bacterioplankton consumption at the Society for General Microbiology's spring meeting in Edinburgh March 29.

The research, conducted on board the Royal Research Ship Discovery in the North Atlantic Ocean in the summer of 2007, found that the smallest algae consume more bacteria than specialised predators such as certain protozoa. This conclusion was supported by further evidence gathered on subsequent research trips to the tropical Atlantic.

It was previously thought that the algae are purely phototrophic organisms, using only sunlight and mineral nutrients dissolved in seawater to fix CO2 into biomass. The researchers think that the ability to also feed on bacteria may well confer an evolutionary advantage to small algae. "Feeding on bacteria provides the smallest algae with biologically concentrated nutrients, giving them a competitive survival edge in the open ocean," said Professor Zubkov.

The findings are being incorporated into ecological models to assess scenarios of oceanic and global changes. "These algae are one of the dominant groups of oceanic CO2 fixers -- up to 40% of the gas could be fixed by these microbes in the open ocean. Knowing how they acquire nutrients and build biomass is essential if we are to understand the biological capacity of the ocean to absorb and to retain CO2," said Professor Zubkov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for General Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Bacterial 'food supplements' for small algae." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329203224.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2010, April 9). Bacterial 'food supplements' for small algae. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329203224.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Bacterial 'food supplements' for small algae." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329203224.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) New England farms are seeing a surge in younger farm hands as the 'buy local' food movement grows across the country. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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