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Iron recycling in the ocean

Recycling in the Ocean

Iron is essential for life, but is remarkably scarce in the ocean. WHOI scientists led by biogeochemist Mak Saito recently discovered that a key marine bacterium, Crocosphaera watsonii, may have evolved a biochemical trick to recycle the element and reduce the organism's iron requirments by half. The organism is named after WHOI microbiologist Stanley W. Watson who, in the 1970s, with colleagues Freddy Valois and John Waterbury, discovered the cyanobacteria’s abundance and importance in the ocean. (Illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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