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Little helpers: Phosphorus anomaly in the Black Sea can be explained by bacterial removal

21.02.2019 09:30

A team led by microbiologist Heide Schulz-Vogt from the IOW was able to show that conspicuous phosphorus anomalies in the Black Sea can be attributed to the fascinating abilities of certain large bacteria. Until now, the scientific community was not able to explain this phenomenon. In a recent article in The ISME Journal, the authors now show that so-called magnetotactic bacteria, which are capable of accumulating polyphosphate and can migrate in a directed manner within the water column thanks to their magnetic properties, are the main cause of phosphate displacements. In this way, they help to control the phosphate content in surface water.

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