Navigation Links
More than 1: Long-reigning microbe controlling ocean nitrogen shares the throne
Date:2/25/2010

Marine scientists long believed that a microbe called Trichodesmium, a member of a group called the cyanobacteria, reigned over the ocean's nitrogen budget.

New research results reported on-line today in a paper in Science Express show that Trichodesmium may have to share its nitrogen-fixing throne: two others of its kind, small spherical species of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria called UCYN-A and Crocosphaera watsonii, are also abundant in the oceans.

One of them, UCYN-A, is more widely distributed than Trichodesmium, and can live in cooler waters.

Different nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria, scientists have discovered, have varying preferences for water temperature and other environmental factors.

Pia Moisander and Jon Zehr of the University of California at Santa Cruz and their co-authors showed that actively nitrogen-fixing UCYN-A "can be found in great abundance at higher latitudes and deeper waters than Trichodesmium," says Moisander.

"Where Trichodesmium might be thought of as a warm-water microbe, UCYN-A likes it cooler," says Zehr. "This has far-reaching implications for the geographic distribution of the ocean's 'nitrogen fixers,' and for the process of nitrogen fixation itself."

According to co-author Joseph Montoya of the Georgia Institute of Technology, "we're now beginning to develop an appreciation for the biogeography of marine nitrogen fixation, and the broad range of oceanic habitats where nitrogen fixation makes a significant contribution to the overall nitrogen budget."

Most previous estimates of global nitrogen fixation were based on distributions of or factors that control the growth of Trichodesmium.

"The results of this study," says David Garrison, program director in the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Directorate for Geosciences, "show that these novel microbes are found in the world's oceans in a distribution analogous to that of non-nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria, which are widespread."

The research was also supported by NSF's Directorate for Biological Sciences and an NSF Science and Technology Center called C-MORE, the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education.

Trichodesmium, as well as UCYN-A and Crocosphaera watsonii, "fix" nitrogen in the seas, taking nitrogen gas from the air we breathe and converting it to chemical forms that other microorganisms can use to power their cellular machinery.

Nitrogen-fixing microorganisms are the key to the productivity of the oceans. Growth of microbes at the base of the food chain is dependent on nutrients like nitrogen, in the same way that agriculture on land depends on such nutrients.

Microorganisms that fix nitrogen play a central role, says Zehr, in the "vertical downward flux of organic matter to the deep ocean."

Life forms that are among our planet's smallest, he says, play a very large role. Through a series of steps in the nitrogen fixation process, they sequester carbon from the atmosphere, important in controlling Earth's climate.


'/>"/>

Contact: Cheryl Dybas
cdybas@nsf.gov
703-292-7734
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Genome analysis of marine microbe reveals a metabolic minimalist
2. Microbes produce fuels directly from biomass
3. Mystery solved: Marine microbe is source of rare nutrient
4. Hot microbes cause groundwater cleanup rethink
5. Marine microbes creating green waves in industry
6. Marine microbes creating green waves in industry
7. Microbes and their hosts -- exploring the complexity of symbiosis in DNA and cell biology
8. Methane-eating microbes can use iron and manganese oxides to breathe
9. Plant protein doorkeepers block invading microbes, study finds
10. Plant protein doorkeepers block invading microbes, study finds
11. Antibiotics take toll on beneficial microbes in gut
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... , December 1, 2016 ... (Fingerprint, Voice), Future Technology (Iris Recognition System), Vehicle ... - Global Forecast to 2021", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... Million in 2016, and is projected to grow ... CAGR of 14.06%.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160303/792302) ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... , Nov. 29, 2016 BioDirection, a ... point-of-care products for the objective detection of concussion and ... company has successfully completed a meeting with the U.S. ... Tbit™ blood test Pre-Submission Package. During the meeting company ... system as a precursor to commencement of a planned ...
(Date:11/24/2016)... 2016 Cercacor today introduced Ember TM ... non-invasively measure hemoglobin, Oxygen Content, Oxygen Saturation, ... Rate in approximately 30 seconds. Smaller than a smartphone, ... access to key data about their bodies to help ... Hemoglobin carries oxygen to muscles. When ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)...  Vyriad Inc. announced today the appointment of ... Directors. "We are delighted to welcome Al ... develop our oncolytic viruses as the next generation of ... , MD, PhD, CEO of Vyriad. "Al and his ... passion for making a difference for cancer patients—their philanthropy ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Texas , Dec. 7, 2016  Genprex, ... of revolutionary immunogene therapy treatments, today announced that ... practice within a leading strategic communications and advisory ... communications program. The program will combine investor relations, ... objective of raising the profile of Genprex and ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... BOULDER, Colo. , Dec. 7, 2016  Muse ... genome engineering technologies, today announced that Dr. Kevin ... member of the Board of Directors. ... , who becomes the company,s Chief Science Officer as ... and Executive Director of the BioDesign Center at the ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ANN ARBOR, Mich. , Dec. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... immune modulatory medicines, announced today the initiation of a ... candidate, LYC-30937- E nteric C oated, in patients ... that is estimated to affect as many as 7.5 million ... with approximately 1.5 - 3 million cases being diagnosed ...
Breaking Biology Technology: