Monday, November 16, 2009

New Study Uncovers Key Role of Bacteria in the Formation of ‘Red Tide’ Algal Blooms

A study confirms the symbiotic relationship between Algae and Aerobic Bacteria.

The researchers found that certain species of bacteria form a mutually-beneficial relationship with the algae that promotes the growth of each. The bacteria release a chemical which helps the algae absorb iron, a critical nutrient for photosynthesis. The algae, in turn, release organic compounds to support the growth of the bacteria.

The study also offers new insight for climate change models, since dimethylsulfide, a gas produced by the bloom-forming algae, plays a critical role in the process of cloud formation and the ability of clouds to reflect sunlight back into space. The degree to which light is reflected in turn influences solar heating of the Earth, affecting global climate.

No comments: