In Marine Pelagic Cyanobacteria: Trichodesmium
and Other Diazotrophs (Carpenter, E.
Hutchins and his team studied two major groups of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria: Trichodesmium
, which forms large floating colonies big enough to see with the naked eye and makes vast "blooms" in the open ocean, and Crocosphaera, which is also very abundant but is a single-celled, microscopic organism.
Lomas and his colleagues examined two cyanobacteria populations in the subtropical North Atlantic: colonies of Trichodesmium
and mixed assemblages of Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus.
In 2006, a team of scientists including Dyhrman and former WHOI biologist Eric Webb found that several species of a phytoplankton called Trichodesmium
have a special set of genes encoding the machinery that enables them to break the phosphonate bond and get the phosphorus out.
The cyanobacteria's cells, such as those in a Trichodesmium
species, don't transport C[O.
The September 2001 issue of Limnology and Oceanograhy contains a study coauthored by Jason Lenes, a graduate student at the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science, on Trichodesmium
, a bacterium that produces its own nitrogen and has triggered the most serious red tides in the past 20 years.
Previously, it had been thought that the large-scale autumn bloom that develops in this region is driven by nitrogen-fixing blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, called Trichodesmium
, colonies of which the researchers found to be abundant.
Among these paradoxical plankton is Trichodesmium
0 0 0 0 0 Total abundance 800 400 2000 200 5600 Silicoflagellates Octatis pulchra 0 0 0 0 1200 Dictyocha fibula 0 0 0 0 0 Total abundance 0 0 0 0 1200 Cyanobacteria Trichodesmium
erythraeum 0 0 0 0 9000 Total abundance 0 0 0 0 9000 Nannoplankton 5800 0 0 0 0 Dinoflagellates A S O N D Ceratium horridum 0 400 0 400 200 Ceratium furca 0 0 0 0 0 Ceratium fusus 0 2400 1000 0 2200 Ceratium lineatum 400 0 600 0 0 Ceratium macroceros 1000 200 1200 0 0 Ceratium sp.
Theorists projected that if this soil arrives at the right time in summer, the resulting iron enrichment of receiving waters should fertilize the growth of blue-green algae known as Trichodesmium
Research is less far along in LNLC waters, said Anthony Michaels of the University of Southern California, but one three-week experiment in the North Atlantic showed that adding iron and phosphorus can stimulate the photosynthetic bacteria Trichodesmium
The microbes may be common enough to match the nutrient production of Trichodesmium
, the cyanobacterium previously thought to be the nitrogen-fixing champ among ocean plankton.