Campus view bike trail at night

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make the oceans

your classroom

Campus view bike trail at night

Ocean scientist Jon Zehr discovered an unusual partnership between two microbes that plays a crucial role in marine ecosystems, fertilizing the oceans by taking nitrogen from the atmosphere and “fixing” it into a form that other organisms can use. One member of this partnership appears to be the most widespread nitrogen-fixing organism in the oceans. It lacks the genes needed to carry out photosynthesis and other essential metabolic pathways, but that’s okay because it lives in intimate symbiosis with a tiny single-celled algae. Together, they function almost as a single organism and provide essential nutrients for marine life.