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Physiological and molecular ecology of aquatic cyanobacteria

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193189 Year: Pages: 127 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-318-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Microbiology --- Oceanography --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-02-05 17:24:33
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Abstract

The cyanobacteria inhabit every illuminated environment on Earth, from polar lakes to desert crusts and through their phototrophic metabolism play essential roles in global geochemical cycles. With the discovery of marine Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus almost 30 years ago, cyanobacteria have now earned their place as dominant primary producers contributing over 25 percent of global photosynthesis. Their global abundance is now explained from the coexistence of ecotypes that occupy different niches along spatial and temporal gradients. New ecotypes of Synechococcus have been identified as abundant components of microbial communities in freshwater environments and marginal seas. Extensive comparative genomics of marine and freshwater picocyanobacteria have begun to unmask adaptations to light and nutrient (N, P, Fe) limitation that these diverse environments present. Novel types of cyanobacterial diazotrophy input new N and structure microbial communities in the open sea. Current challenges include the understanding of the interactions between marine cyanobacteria and other microbes in their immediate community. In contrast, mesotrophic and eutrophic environments such as the Laurentian Great Lakes have been increasingly affected by nuisance and toxic cyanobacterial blooms that have yielded severe declines in water quality. Factors promoting bloom formation and the functional roles of toxins are important issues being addressed today.

The microbial nitrogen cycle

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194124 Year: Pages: 174 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-412-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Microbiology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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Abstract

Nitrogen is an essential element in biological systems, and one that often limits production in both aquatic and terrestrial systems. Due to its requirement in biological macromolecules, its acquisition and cycling have the potential to structure microbial communities, as well as to control productivity on the ecosystem scale. In addition, its versatile redox chemistry is the basis of complex biogeochemical transformations that control the inventory of fixed nitrogen, both in local environments and over geological time. Although many of the pathways in the microbial nitrogen cycle were described more than a century ago, additional fundamental pathways have been discovered only recently. These findings imply that we still have much to learn about the microbial nitrogen cycle, the organisms responsible for it, and their interactions in natural and human environments. Progress in nitrogen cycle research has been facilitated by recent rapid technological advances, especially in genomics and isotopic approaches. In this Research Topic, we reviewed the leading edge of nitrogen cycle research based on these approaches, as well as by exploring microbial processes in modern ecosystems.

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