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Light into the darkness of the deep sea


Microorganisms that fix inorganic carbon dissolved in the deep sea have a significant impact on the global carbon cycle. Marine researchers led by Gerhard J. Herndl from the University of Vienna and from the American Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences have now published their insights into the metabolism of microorganisms in the lightless depths of the oceans.

The diversity of micro-organisms and their energy sources is a scientific puzzle even after decades of deep-sea research. Deep-sea nitrite-oxidizing bacteria are major players in the conversion of carbon dioxide into biomass. The results of the study are currently published in the renowned journal "Science". [read more]

 "Major role of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria in the dark ocean carbon fixation": Maria G. Pachiadaki, Eva Sintes, Kristin Bergauer, Julia M. Brown, Nicholas R. Record, Brandon K. Swan, Mary Elizabeth Mathyer, Steven Hallam, Purificacion Lopez-Garcia, Yoshihiro Takaki, Takuro Nunoura, Tanja Woyke, Gerhard J. Herndl, Ramunas Stepanauskas

Science, 24 Nov 2017: Vol. 358, Issue 6366, pp. 1046-1051 DOI: 10.1126/science.aan8260

rosette sampling system used in the deep sea
Collecting samples from 4000m depth (c) A.B. Bochdansky