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News Release 05-164

Marine Microorganism Suspected to Play Role in Global Carbon and Nitrogen Cycles

Scientists successfully grow "dwarf belonging to the sea" in laboratory

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Researchers discovered that Archaea may play a key role in global nitrogen and carbon cycling.

Researchers discovered that a single-celled marine microorganism of the Archaea kingdom may play an important role in global nitrogen and carbon cycling. The new finding was evident after scientists determined what nutrients were needed to keep the organism growing in the laboratory.

Credit: Illustration created by Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation. Micrograph image provided by M. Koenneke and D. Stahl, University of Washington.


The Tree of Life is currently divided into three kingdoms, bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes.

By studying genetic characteristics scientists currently divide all living organisms into three kingdoms named bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes when they depict the "Tree of Life."

Credit: Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation

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