Pelagibacterales are found in abundant numbers in the Earth's oceans, and they play an important
role in keeping the Earth's atmosphere stable. Their importance lies in the fact that they produce an essential gas called dimethyl sulfide. The latter assists in creating cloud formations, which in turn blocks solar radiation from reaching the Earth's surface. Some scientists claim that the properties of dimethyl sulfide could help in fighting greenhouse warming.
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have discovered how a tiny yet abundant ocean organism helps regulate the Earth’s climate.
Research published today in Nature Microbiology reveals how a bacterial group called ‘Pelagibacterales’ plays an important function in keeping the Earth’s atmosphere stable.
The project was led by Prof Steve Giovannoni and Dr Jing Sun at Oregon State University, in collaboration with researchers from UEA among others.
They showed that these tiny, hugely abundant bacteria could make the environmentally important gas, dimethyl sulfide. Researchers at UEA identified and characterised the gene that is responsible for this property.
The University of East Anglia's web site has the full article.