Science at Sea with the Chen Lab
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Science at Sea with the Chen Lab

Marine microbial ecologist Dr. Feng Chen
and his students were aboard a scientific research cruise to help
collect samples of bacterial communities in the deep sea.
They will then identify the types of bacteria in their sample and the genes
that were being expressed when the sample was collected. By collecting this
data they can understand how conditions such as temperature and depth affect the
microbial communities and thus how the microbial community affects nutrient
cycling in the ecosystem. My name is Ana Sosa.
I’m a third year PhD student here at IMET and I am a marine microbialecologist.
So we are gonna go on a cruise to Bermuda to do some water filtering
for microbes. So we’re gonna be taking samples from different depths in one
station and 200 meter increments to look at the microbial communities that inhabit those those depths in the water. I’m Feng Chen. I’m a professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. I study marine microbiology. I’m mainly interested in the interaction between microorganisms which
include marine viruses, bacteria, and phytoplankton. So for this research
cruise, I’m the co-PI of this project with Michael Gonsior who is a PI. We
have this NSF-funded project looking to viral lysis of cyanobacteria on
dissolved organic matter. My particular role will be focused on
microorganisms in the water. Dissolved organic matter basically means the
organic matter that can pass through a certain filter size. So any organic
matter that goes through that pore size is defined as a dissolved organic matter.
This organic matter can be chained in a carbon chain and basically it’s the
many organic matters produced by the cells some of the organic matter can be
carried from the terrestrial water so they they
are basically they are the food for many bacteria. They support the
growth of bacteria. The bacteria in the ocean release dissolved organic matter
in part when they are broken open by viruses. Viruses are predicted to be the
new most numerous being on the earth, so understanding their impact on bacteria
in the ocean can open the door into new discoveries.

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