HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Marine phytoplankton changes form to protect itself from different predators

A tiny single-celled organism that plays a key role in the carbon cycle of cold-water oceans may be a lot smarter than scientists had suspected.

In a paper published June 11 in the online version of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers report the first evidence that a common species of saltwater algae also known as phytoplankton can change form to protect itself against attack by predators that have very different feeding habits. To boost its survival chances, Phaeocystis globosa will enhance or suppress the formation of colonies based on whether nearby grazers prefer eating large or small particles.

Based on chemical signals from attacked neighbors, Phaeocystis globosa enhances colony formation if thats the best thing to do for survival, or it suppresses the formation of colonies in favor of growing as small solitary cells if thats the best thing to do, said Mark E. Hay, Teasley Professor of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. These changes in form made nearly a 100-fold difference in the algas susceptibility to being eaten. Its certainly surprising that a single-celled organism can chemically sense the presence of nearby consumers, identify those consumers and change in opposing ways depending on which consumers are present.

The behavior could have implications for global climate change because Phaeocystis blooms play a key role in the carbon cycle of cold oceans, accounting for up to 85 percent of local productivity during some time periods. This complex defensive behavior also shows how environmental factors can affect even simple organisms, Hay noted.

Conducted largely at Georgia Techs marine lab in Savannah, Ga., the research was sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Phaeocystis has two primary predators: small grazers such as ciliates, which prefer to eat small solitary cells that are four to si
'"/>

Contact: John Toon
jtoon@gatech.edu
404-894-6986
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
15-Jun-2007


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Census of Marine Life historians detail collapse of bluefin tuna population off northern Europe
2. Marine worm opens new window on early cell development
3. German-Korean collaboration in Polar and Marine research will be intensified
4. Marine reserves could save coral reefs
5. Marine scientists monitor longest mammal migration
6. Elsevier launches new journal, Marine Genomics
7. Marine moss reveals clues to anticancer compound
8. Climate changes brews trouble for marine life in European Seas, Marine Board-ESF report says
9. Science for long-term management of the Marine Life Protection Act
10. Marine life stirs ocean enough to affect climate, says FSU study
11. Coral reef conservation by means of the global network of Marine Protected Areas

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:9/14/2019)... ... September 12, 2019 , ... ... solutions for drugs, biologics, gene therapies, and consumer health products, today announced that ... biologics business. Dr. Schaffer has played an integral advisory role on the gene ...
(Date:9/8/2019)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... September 06, 2019 , ... ... Board of Directors of Nanosens Innovations have each authorized the respective companies to ... a subsidiary of Cardea, with the Nanosens brand representing a series of products ...
(Date:8/27/2019)... ... ... Shoreline Biome , a microbiome research company that develops tools for characterizing ... and Karen Woodward as its VP of Business Development. , These two new ... expand the company’s sales worldwide. , Prior to joining Shoreline Biome, Bill McKenzie was ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/17/2019)... ... September 17, 2019 , ... Tucker, a Labrador retriever, was just a puppy ... was limping and lame on his right hip and elbow. At one year of ... “the worst case the vet had seen.” He was prescribed pain medications, both oral ...
(Date:9/17/2019)... ... September 16, 2019 , ... MyBioGate Global ... Focus @ Biotech Week Boston, a forum organized by MyBioGate, Inc. and CUBIO ... , After a careful process of evaluation, twelve companies out of over 200 ...
(Date:9/9/2019)... ... September 09, 2019 , ... Visikol CEO Dr. Michael Johnson ... focused on how best to characterize 3D cell culture models. The inherent problem of ... too thick and opaque to image through and therefore traditional wide-field or even confocal ...
(Date:8/29/2019)... ... August 29, 2019 , ... ... affecting grapevines, a feat they hope will ultimately help protect the multibillion-dollar grape ... several Rochester Institute of Technology faculty and alumni sequenced the microbiome found within ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: