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Latest Prochlorococcus Stories

2014-01-10 10:45:38

Scientists discover extracellular vesicles produced by ocean microbes Marine cyanobacteria — tiny ocean plants that produce oxygen and make organic carbon using sunlight and CO2 — are primary engines of Earth's biogeochemical and nutrient cycles. They nourish other organisms through the provision of oxygen and with their own body mass, which forms the base of the ocean food chain. Now scientists at MIT have discovered another dimension of the outsized role played by these tiny...

2012-07-09 10:21:15

HAMILTON, Bermuda, July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to climate change, few people think about potential impacts on bacteria, but that's just what a team of researchers from the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) and Princeton University did in a recent study chosen as the feature article in today's issue of Aquatic Microbial Ecology. Led by Dr. Michael Lomas, PI of the Phytoplankton Ecology Lab at BIOS, the team investigated the short-term responses of photosynthetic...

Queen Of Spades Key To New Evolutionary Hypothesis
2012-05-11 03:02:13

Microscopic ocean plankton mimic card also known as the Black Queen Sleight of hand is a trait that belongs mainly to humans. Or so scientists thought. Studies of common, microscopic ocean plankton named Prochlorococcus show that humans aren't the only ones who can play a mean game of cards. Their method lurks in the Black Queen Hypothesis, as it's called, after the Queen of Spades in the card game Hearts. Scientists Jeffrey Morris and Richard Lenski of Michigan State...

2012-04-04 20:45:04

A new hypothesis counters popular evolutionary thinking that living organisms evolve by adding genes rather than discarding them A new hypothesis posed by a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, associate professor and colleagues could be a game changer in the evolution arena. The hypothesis suggests some species are surviving by discarding genes and depending on other species to play their hand. The groundbreaking "Black Queen Hypothesis" got its name from the game of Hearts. In...

2012-03-27 23:55:09

Microorganisms can sometimes lose the ability to perform a function that appears to be necessary for their survival, and yet they still somehow manage to endure and multiply. How can this be? The authors of an opinion piece appearing in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on March 27 explain their ideas about the matter. They say microbes that shed necessary functions are getting others to do the hard work for them, an adaptation that can...

2012-01-26 13:15:09

MIT researchers have discovered that certain photosynthetic ocean bacteria need to beware of viruses bearing gifts: These viruses are really con artists carrying genetic material taken from their previous bacterial hosts that tricks the new host into using its own machinery to activate the genes, a process never before documented in any virus-bacteria relationship. The con occurs when a grifter virus injects its DNA into a bacterium living in a phosphorus-starved region of the ocean. Such...

2010-10-12 13:53:25

Much as an anthropologist can study populations of people to learn about their physical attributes, their environs and social structures, some marine microbiologists read the genome of microbes to glean information about the microbes themselves, their environments and lifestyles. Using a relatively new methodology called comparative population genomics, these scientists compare the entire genomes of different populations of the same microbe to see which genes are "housekeeping" or core genes...

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2010-06-02 10:35:00

Inputs of dust from the Sahara desert could change the composition of microbial communities in the (sub)tropical eastern North Atlantic say Southampton researchers writing this month in the journal FEMS Microbiology Letters. When high winds blow over the Sahara, dust particles consisting of soil particles are lifted high into the atmosphere, blown over the sea, and then deposited on the ocean surface. "Desert dust particles contain nutrients such as iron that can boost the production of tiny...