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"From the microbial loop to ‘omics. Three decades of marine microbial ecology," presented by Jed Fuhrman, McCulloch-Crosby Chair of Marine Biology, University of Southern California.
Over 35 years ago, it was discovered that marine bacteria process about half of all the total marine primary productivity, or about a quarter of global productivity, via their uptake of dissolved organic matter and the “microbial loop.”
There have been many discoveries since then, including the existence and importance of viruses (~10X bacterial abundance), multiple varieties of non-“extremophile” archaea that sometimes exceed bacteria in abundance, incredibly diverse picoplanktonic photoautotrophs, mixotrophs, ubiquitous rhodopsins for solar energy capture, surprising dynamics, and much more.
The field has been revolutionized by the ability to analyze the compositions and activities of natural populations by sequencing directly from extracted DNA and RNA. Presenter Jed Fuhrman will briefly summarize historic discoveries and discuss recent work in his lab including results on seasonality and predictability of microbial populations, surprisingly rapid community changes during and after the spring bloom, the significance of microdiversity, and the need to use standards like “mock communities” in all microbiome analyses.
Light refreshments will be served.