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brightly-stained kinetoplastid, a protist, from a DHAB in Mediterranean

Denizens of the Deep

WHOI microbial ecologist Virginia Edgcomb collected the organisms shown here in 2009 from the top of a deep, hypersaline, anoxic lake on the Mediterranean seafloor. The bright blue color comes from DAPI, a fluorescent probe that indicates the presence of DNA. The large, circular blob and smaller one near it belong to a kinetoplastid, a single-celled protist that has a large nucleus where most of its DNA resides, as well as another small DNA-containing structure. The clump of tiny blobs to the left of the kinetoplastid is a group of bacteria. Edgcomb led a Dive & Discover expedition to the area in fall, 2011. (Photomicrograph by Virginia Edgcomb and William Orsi, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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