Navigation Links
Bacterial 'switch gene' regulates how oceans emit sulfur into atmosphere

Scientists have discovered a bacterial "switch gene" in two groups of microscopic plankton common in the oceans. The gene helps determine whether certain marine plankton convert a sulfur compound to one that rises into the atmosphere, where it can affect the earth's temperature, or remain in the sea, where it can be used as a nutrient.

"This new gene offers a powerful tool to study the question of how these plankton are involved with sulfur exchange between the ocean and atmosphere," said Mary Ann Moran, marine microbial ecologist at the University of Georgia. Moran and her colleagues published their findings in the Oct. 26, 2006, issue of the journal Science.

Much of the sulfur in the atmosphere comes from the surface of oceans, from a compound called dimethlysulfide, or DMS. Marine plankton control how much sulfur rises into the atmosphere by converting a compound called DMSP, or dimethylsulfoniopropionate, to DMS or to sulfur compounds that are not climatically active. Moran and her team discovered a gene that controls whether or not these sea drifters create DMS that rises into the air.

"Isolating and discovering a novel, keystone bacterium from the ocean first, and then sequencing its genome enabled this team to find the genes involved in the DMSP cycle," said Matthew Kane, program director in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, which supported the research. "The research has revealed the previously hidden role that marine microbes play in the global sulfur cycle."

The researchers discovered that microscopic plankton that fall under the Roseobacter and SAR11 organism groups are the primary plankton involved in directing DMSP away from forming DMS, and thus making sulfur unavailable to atmospheric processes.

Dramatic advances in understanding how these plankton work have developed in the past few years with the availability of new genomic data. The scientists searched ge nome fragments of these plankton, looking for specific gene sequences that would show how the plankton use sulfur compounds.

"This breakthrough in the microbial physiology of DMSP metabolism opens the door to understanding the biology and ecology of this globally important process," said William Whitman, a microbiologist at the University of Georgia and co-author of the Science paper. The discovery of a bacterial gene switch in these two groups of plankton will open new areas of research, since DMSP synthesis may account for almost all marine-created atmospheric sulfur. The findings also expand knowledge of how these marine organisms are involved in the routing of carbon and sulfur into the microbial food web.


'"/>

Source:National Science Foundation


Related biology news :

1. UF Researchers Map Bacterial Proteins That Cause Tooth Loss
2. Bacterial genome sheds light on synthesizing cancer-fighting compounds
3. New insight into autoimmune disease: Bacterial infections promote recognition of self-glycolipids
4. Say what? Bacterial conversation stoppers
5. Bacterial protein mimics host to cripple defenses
6. Bacterial protein shows promise in treating intestinal parasites
7. Bacterial response to oxidation studied as toxin barometer
8. Bacterial walls come tumbling down
9. Scientists ID molecular switch in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
10. A genes first kiss sets off that affair known as puberty
11. Scientists discover rare gene-for-gene interaction that helps bacteria kill their host
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/22/2016)...  The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics was ... as one of the fastest-growing trade shows during the Fastest ... in Las Vegas . ... in each of the following categories: net square feet of ... attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 out ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... DALLAS , June 20, 2016 ... criminal justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, ... by the prisons involved, it has secured the ... Corrections (DOC) facilities for Managed Access Systems (MAS) ... (4) additional facilities to be installed by October, ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... June 9, 2016 Paris ... Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the safety of people ... during the major tournament Teleste, an international ... and services, announced today that its video security solution will ... to back up public safety across the country. The system ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... BOSTON , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo ... biology to industrial engineering, was today awarded as ... a selection of the world,s most innovative companies. ... at scale for the real world in the ... organism engineers work directly with customers including Fortune ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in ... peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on ... biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" ... commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors ... such as WDR5 represent an exciting class of ... precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SANTA MONICA, Calif. , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer ... to pioneer increasingly precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of ... 77 institutions across 15 countries. Read More About the ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: