Thursday 3 April 2014

Archaea can produce vitamin B12

University of Washington researchers used new tools to measure and track B-12 vitamins in the ocean. From this, oceanographers have found that archaea, in this case species that are marine microorganism, can produce B-12 vitamins in the open ocean. This is a vitamin that is generally elusive in the ocean environment.

For their study, the researchers used high-tech tools, including liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, to identify the tiny amount of vitamins among all the dissolved matter and salt in the seawater.

With the findings, the research team hopes to learn which microbes are producing B-12 vitamins where, to better understand how the base of the marine food web works, how it might alter in a changing environment, how oceans might help regulate atmospheric carbon dioxide, and where marine animals could go to get a well-balanced diet.

Posted by Victor Grayson

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