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1999 Projects

Current Projects

Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Benthic processes
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Midwater research
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Upper ocean biogeochemistry
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) New research platforms
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) ROV improvements
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Mooring improvements
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) New in-situ Instruments
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Information management and archiving
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Education and outreach
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) 1998 Projects
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) 1997 Projects


1999 Projects: Upper ocean biogeochemistry

Molecular monitoring of picoplankton

Project lead/manager: Ed DeLong
Project team: Steven Haddock, Hans Jannasch, Victoria Orphan, Farley Shane, Grieg Steward, Marcelino Suzuki, and Trent Taylor

Single-celled planktonic microbes are the most abundant organisms in the world's oceans. At concentrations of about one million cells per milliliter in surface waters, microorganisms consume an estimated 20 to 50 percent of marine primary productivity. Planktonic microbes are also biochemically versatile, mediating most of the key chemical transformations of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur in the oceanic biosphere. The cycling of chemical elements in the sea is absolutely dependent on microbes, but the identity, variability, and activity of these organisms are poorly understood. To address this general problem, we will develop novel approaches and procedures that employ molecular biological techniques and other methods to rapidly identify and quantify marine microorganisms throughout the water column. We will couple molecular methods to new technologies designed to monitor microbial activities in situ. Our long-range goal is to evolve technologies that enable in situ, simultaneous monitoring of indigenous microbial species and the biogeochemical processes in which they play key roles. We anticipate that the procedures developed may be broadly applicable and useful to biological oceanographers.

Next: Physics and biology of ocean fronts in Monterey Bay

Last updated: 07 October 2004