Posted in | News | Water | Energy

Carbon Dioxide Captured by Marine Bacteria

Marine bacteria have the capacity to take up and capture carbon dioxide with the help of sunlight. This has been discovered by researchers at Kalmar University in Sweden in collaboration with colleagues in Spain, Australia, and Russia. The finding is being published in the internationally respected scientific journal PNAS.

This can be compared to a simple form of photosynthesis, where marine bacteria use energy from sunlight to absorb carbon dioxide. It was previously known that bacteria in oxygen-starved lakes can have this capacity, but it's new knowledge that bacteria in the open seas can do so as well. This challenges earlier knowledge that algae are the only organisms that capture carbon dioxide in the surface water exposed to sunlight. It remains unknown just how much carbon dioxide is captured by these bacteria.

"Even if it turns out that only a tiny fraction of carbon dioxide is captured by the bacteria, this can have an enormous impact, since more than 100 million tons of carbon dioxide is captured daily by algae through photosynthesis in the oceans. Bacteria may prove to take up millions of tons. We need to study this more," says Jarone Pinhassi, associate professor of marine microbiology at Kalmar University and one of the researchers behind the discovery.

Recently Jarone Pinhassi and his colleagues discovered that marine bacteria use sunlight as a source of energy, owing to a unique light-capturing pigment, proteorhodopsin, which is found in nearly half of sea bacteria. Oceans cover about 70 percent of the earth's surface, and there is a constant exchange of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the sea. Knowledge of marine bacteria may come to be of major importance to our understanding of what the climate impact of rising carbon dioxide emissions means for the oceans.

"How many bacteria in the oceans have the ability to take up carbon dioxide and how much carbon dioxide they capture are exciting questions for the future. Many scientists are going to want to research this," Jarone Pinhassi believes.

Jarone Pinhassi and doctoral candidate Laura Gómez-Consarnau at Kalmar University are the Swedish researchers who worked with the current study. Read the entire article, published this week on the home page for Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA: www.pnas.org

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type
Submit
Azthena logo

AZoM.com powered by Azthena AI

Your AI Assistant finding answers from trusted AZoM content

Your AI Powered Scientific Assistant

Hi, I'm Azthena, you can trust me to find commercial scientific answers from AZoNetwork.com.

A few things you need to know before we start. Please read and accept to continue.

  • Use of “Azthena” is subject to the terms and conditions of use as set out by OpenAI.
  • Content provided on any AZoNetwork sites are subject to the site Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.
  • Large Language Models can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.

Great. Ask your question.

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.