COSEE Ocean Systems: News
Bacterial Communication Could Affect Earth's Climate
Description: In the ocean, bacteria coalesce on tiny particles of carbon-rich detritus sinking through the depths. Researchers have found that these bacteria send out chemical signals to other bacteria. If enough of their cohorts are nearby, then bacteria en masse commence secreting enzymes that break up the carbon-containing molecules within the particles into more digestible bits. Bacterial communication could lead to the release of carbon from the particles at shallower depths. This represents the first evidence that bacterial communication plays a crucial role in Earth's carbon cycle. [Source: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute]
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Source: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Publish Date: 10/12/2011
Reading Level: Basic
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