The life aquatic at the microscale
© 2018 Raina. There are more than one million microbial cells in every drop of seawater, and their collective metabolisms not only recycle nutrients that can then be used by larger organisms but also catalyze key chemical transformations that maintain Earth’s habitability. Understanding how these microbes interact with each other and with multicellular hosts is critical to reliably quantify any functional aspect of their metabolisms and to predict their outcomes on larger scales. Following a large body of literature pioneered by Farooq Azam and colleagues more than 30 years ago, I emphasize the importance of studying microbial interactions at the appropriate scale if we want to fully decipher the roles that they play in oceanic ecosystems.
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