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Microorganism Suspected to Play Role in Global Cycles
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Microorganism Suspected to Play Role in Global Cycles

July 26, 2010
By studying genetic characteristics scientists currently divide all living organisms in the "Tree of Life" into three kingdoms: bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes.

Archaea are an ancient kingdom of single-celled microorganisms. Data from several cultivation-independent, molecular experiments led researchers at the Stahl lab at the University of Washington to suspect that Archaea could be involved in the marine nitrogen cycle. Subsequently having the organism isolated in the lab allowed them to confirm their suspicions. Stahl's lab group specializes in environmental microbiology and how microbial communities function in diverse locations including the oceans, hot springs, animal intestines NSF's The National Science Foundation's Microbial Observatories program, as well as an NSF postdoctoral fellowship in microbial biology, supported this work.