The global ocean microbiome

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  11 Dec 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6266, aac8455
DOI: 10.1126/science.aac8455


  • Sampling the ocean microbiome.

    (Left) New instruments such as the Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute) autonomously sample ocean microbes and environmental conditions while deployed at sea. (Right) Microbial cells preserved in metal pucks inside the ESP are removed for gene expression analysis.

  • Fig. 1 Microscale structure of the ocean microbiome.

    The ocean microbiome is dispersed across a dilute matrix of organic matter, populated by bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic cells using complex trophic strategies and fueled by microbially fixed carbon. Molecules, gels, and a living diatom represent the organic matter matrix of seawater. Dashed lines indicate predatory or nonpredatory interactions between microbiome members.

  • Fig. 2 Organisms and “omics.”

    (A) Typical inventory of microbial cells and (B) microbial genes and transcripts per liter of ocean water (26, 29).

  • Fig. 3 Trophic categories of the ocean microbiome.

    The mechanisms by which microbes of oxygenated seawater obtain energy and carbon are grouped in unconventional ways in the trophic hodgepodge of the ocean microbiome (50, 55, 93, 95, 107, 108).

Navigate This Article