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Press Release 12-171

Unusual Symbiosis Discovered in Marine Microorganisms

Single-celled algae and nitrogen-fixing bacteria help fertilize the oceans

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Photo of a researcher on a research vessel watching seawater sampling equipment.

Seawater sampling during an oceanographic research cruise to the southeast Pacific Ocean.

Credit: Daniel Vaulot


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Map showing research sites in the north and south Pacific Ocean where symbioses were found.

Map of research sites in the north and south Pacific Ocean where symbioses were found.

Credit: Jonathan Zehr


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Confocal microscope images of the symbiosis.

Confocal microscope images of the symbiosis.

Credit: Niculina Musat and Cristina Moraru


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Micrograph of a small phytoplankton believed to be similar to the symbiont.

Micrograph of a small phytoplankton believed to be similar to the symbiont.

Credit: Daniel Vaulot


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Photo of the nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry instrument.

Nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry instrument, where measurements were done.

Credit: Manfred Schlosser


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Cover of the September 21, 2012 issue of the journal Science.

The researchers' work is described in the September 21, 2012 issue of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2012


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