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Global Marine Microbes

International Census of Marine Microbes (ICoMM)
Microbes make up an often ignored but dominant portion of the world's ecosystems. Bacteria, archaea, protists and viruses comprise the microbial world. Their numbers in terms of biomass are hard to comprehend; in just one teaspoon of ocean water are found thousands of individual protists and millions of bacteria. The International Census of Marine Microbes (ICoMM) has the daunting task of establishing the first ever global catalog of this vast and minute world. ICoMM is in the unique position of Census projects in that it serves largely as a store-house for the numerous microbe records that have been generated thus far, as well as directing present and future field research toward more comprehensive and complete identification and cataloging efforts.

The ICoMM initiative encompasses the microbial world of marine viruses, bacteria, archaea, and protists. From the leftmost panel, a Synechococcus phage (J. Waterbury), filaments of the marine cyanobacterium Lyngbya (D. Patterson), the hyperthermophilic archaeon "GR1" (M. Holland), and a single-celled eukaryote called a foraminiferan (Linda Amaral Zettler). (International Census of Marine Microbes - ICoMM)

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University of Rhode Island

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