Microbial Hotspots 1: Interactions on a Marine Particle

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Julien Barrere & Otto X. Cordero

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In environments like the ocean, bacteria have evolved adaptations that allow them to colonize nutrient patches such as this model marine particle shown in the picture. The particle is made of chitin, the second most abundant biopolymer in the planet and a primary source of nutrients for microorganisms in the ocean. The image reveals the micro scale spatial organization of bacteria on the particle surface, giving us a rare opportunity to “peek into the life” of marine microbes.