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
Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University
From the Arctic to the tropics: researchers present a unique database on Earth’s vegetation
20.11.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.
Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...
New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals
Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.
Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.
Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
03.12.2018 | Event News
11.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
11.12.2018 | Materials Sciences
11.12.2018 | Information Technology