Latest Coccolithophore Stories
A year-long experiment on tiny ocean organisms called coccolithophores suggests that the single-celled algae may still be able to grow their calcified shells even as oceans grow warmer and more acidic in Earth's near future.
Researchers have sequenced the genome of Emiliania huxleyi ("Ehux"), a species of single-celled photosynthetic marine algae that they say is responsible for removing carbon dioxide from the air, supplying the oxygen we breath, and even forming the basis of marine food chains.
Marine scientists have long understood the detrimental effect of fossil fuel emissions on marine ecosystems.
Microscopic ocean algae called coccolithophores are providing clues about the impact of climate change both now and many millions of years ago.
The world's oceans support vast populations of single-celled organisms (phytoplankton) that are responsible, through photosynthesis, for removing about half of the carbon dioxide that is produced by burning fossil fuels â€“ as much as the rainforests and all other terrestrial systems combined.
Geologists at MIT and Harvard have discovered fossils along the Alaska-Canada border that reveal protective plates for microscopic organisms.
A study led by Dr Stuart Painter of the National Oceanography Centre helps explain the formation of huge phytoplankton blooms off the southeast coast of South America during the austral summer (December-January).
Lack of sufficient iron may be a significant factor in controlling massive blooms of Emiliania huxleyi, a globally important species of marine algae or phytoplankton.
Coccolithophores are microscopic marine plants that convert carbon dioxide into chalk. It was thought that rising C02 and more acid oceans would curb their activity. Instead they are booming - and fighting global warming.
Coccolithovirus, a giant double-stranded DNA virus, infects Emiliania huxleyi, a species of coccolithophore. The virus was first observed in 1999 by W.H. Wilson and his team at the Marine Biological Association. It was sequenced for the EhV-86 strain during the summer of 2005, and was found to be a "giant-virus" having 472 protein-coding genes. It is the largest known marine virus by genome.
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