News of the WeekMicrobiology

Multitasking Is This Plankton's Trademark

Science  16 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5546, pp. 1435
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5546.1435a

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Summary

Like many other so-called cyanobacteria, Trichodesmium processes nitrogen to make ammonia and also produces oxygen via photosynthesis, activities that are usually chemically incompatible. Now, researchers think they have figured out how Trichodesmium seemingly manages both processes at once. As reported on page 1534, this cyanobacterium carefully balances the amount of time it spends on photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation, shifting from one process to the other.

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