“Life on the Dark Side”

“Life on the Dark Side”: Complex trophic interactions of marine microbial eukaryotes

Collaborators: Patrick Keeling (UBC), Tom Richards (Exeter, UK), Alexandra Worden (MBARI)

Funding: Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

fig2

Sections of photosynthetic organism abundance along CalCOFI Line 67 by the Worden lab. From Santoro et al. 2013.

Ecological interactions determine community composition and therefore the flow of carbon and nutrients through ecosystems.  Like some prokaryotic taxa, specific microbial eukaryotic taxa can act as keystone species determining community assembly through primary production, grazing, symbiosis, parasitism and recycling of biological material.  Although photosynthetic eukaryotes have been studied intensively, heterotrophic and mixotrophic eukaryotes are among the most poorly studied marine microbes.  This project addresses the complex interactions among microbial eukaryotes and between other domains by investigating five model trophic interactions in the central California Current system.

Related links:

GBMF Project website

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute 

Related publications:

Orsi, W.D.Richards, T.A., and A.E. Santoro. 2015. Cellular maintenance processes that underpin the survival of subseafloor fungi over geological timescales. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2015.04.009 link

Orsi, W.D., Smith, J.M., Wilcox, H.M., Swalwell, J.E., Carini, P., Worden, A.Z., and A.E. Santoro. 2015. Ecophysiology of uncultivated marine euryarchaea is linked to particulate organic matter. ISME Journal. doi:10.1038/ismej.2014.260 (open access)

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