A Genomics-enabled Microbial Observatory in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Monterey Bay, California
In the Monterey Bay, a typical milliliter of surface water contains on the order of a million microbial cells (in open ocean waters this drops to around one hundred thousand cells per milliliter). These small, single-celled planktonic microbes represent the most abundant organisms in the world's oceans. Some of these microbes contribute significantly to primary production in the sea, while others are responsible for consuming a large proportion of marine primary productivity. Planktonic microbial species are key players in the central chemical transformations of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur, which help maintain the oceanic biosphere. However, despite their importance to the functioning of the Monterey Bay ecosystem, and as a model for understanding marine microbial communities in general, we are still only beginning to describe the microbes of the Bay. This Microbial Observatory is dedicated to deciphering, step by step, who these microbes are, how their communities change across time and space, and what they might be doing.
Professor, Division of Biological Engineering and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering MIT,
(Visit the DeLong Lab Website )
Copyright on all images and material by Ed DeLong, 2005.