This can be compared to a simple form of photosynthesis, where marine bacteria use energy from sunlight to absorb carbon dioxide. It was previously known that bacteria in oxygen-starved lakes can have this capacity, but it's new knowledge that bacteria in the open seas can do so as well.
This challenges earlier knowledge that algae are the only organisms that capture carbon dioxide in the surface water exposed to sunlight. It remains unknown just how much carbon dioxide is captured by these bacteria.
"Even if it turns out that only a tiny fraction of carbon dioxide is captured by the bacteria, this can have an enormous impact, since more than 100 million tons of carbon dioxide is captured daily by algae through photosynthesis in the oceans. Bacteria may prove to take up millions of tons. We need to study this more," says Jarone Pinhassi, associate professor of marine microbiology at Kalmar University and one of the researchers behind the discovery.
Recently Jarone Pinhassi and his colleagues discovered that marine bacteria use sunlight as a source of energy, owing to a unique light-capturing pigment, proteorhodopsin, which is found in nearly half of sea bacteria. Oceans cover about 70 percent of the earth's surface, and there is a constant exchange of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the sea. Knowledge of marine bacteria may come to be of major importance to our understanding of what the climate impact of rising carbon dioxide emissions means for the oceans.
"How many bacteria in the oceans have the ability to take up carbon dioxide and how much carbon dioxide they capture are exciting questions for the future. Many scientists are going to want to research this," Jarone Pinhassi believes.
Jarone Pinhassi and doctoral candidate Laura Gómez-Consarnau at Kalmar University are the Swedish researchers who worked with the current study. Read the entire article, published this week on the home page for Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA: www.pnas.org
Anna Strömblad | idw
Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences