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Community Ecology: For Marine Microbes, It's Not Who You Are, but What You Do

When you're a tiny creature in a vast ocean it pays to hang out with the right crowd, regardless of whether they are related to you or not, a new study into the amazingly diverse world of marine microbes has found.

For bacteria at least, it seems that what matters more than your species identity is whether you have specific genes that let you work with other species to form a functioning community.

The study looked at the rich communities of bacteria that form on the surface of a common seaweed known as sea lettuce (Ulva australis) and found surprisingly large variations in the 400 or so member species that make up each community.

Click "source" for entire article. (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/08/03/1101591108)

"Bacterial community assembly based on functional genes rather than species." (
 
 

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