Natural sunbeams underwater through water surface in the Mediterranean sea on a seabed with neptune grass, Catalonia, Roses, Costa Brava, Spain
Marine Plant Partners with Microbes Like Terrestrial Plants Do
A seagrass relies on symbiotic bacteria inside its roots to fix nitrogen. This is the first time scientists have demonstrated that this relationship occurs in a marine plant.
ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, Damocean
Marine Plant Partners with Microbes Like Terrestrial Plants Do
Marine Plant Partners with Microbes Like Terrestrial Plants Do

A seagrass relies on symbiotic bacteria inside its roots to fix nitrogen. This is the first time scientists have demonstrated that this relationship occurs in a marine plant.

A seagrass relies on symbiotic bacteria inside its roots to fix nitrogen. This is the first time scientists have demonstrated that this relationship occurs in a marine plant.

ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, Damocean

nitrogen

Infographic showing how a new bacteria species called <em>Candidatus Celerinatantimonas neptuna</em> lives in seagrass and how it provides the plant with nitrogen
Infographic: Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria Live Inside Seagrass Roots
Rachael Moeller Gorman | Mar 14, 2022
Researchers can now explain how some marine plants obtain their nitrogen.
Photo of Romaine River in Quebec
Microbial Analysis of River Reveals Considerable Diversity
Annie Melchor | Mar 1, 2022
Scientists in Canada trace how aquatic communities change as Quebec’s Romaine River flows into the sea.
small striped mammal
Gut Microbes Help Ground Squirrels Endure Hibernation
Alejandra Manjarrez | Jan 27, 2022
By breaking down urea, the animals’ gut bacteria recycle nitrogen, which can be then used to build new molecules during prolonged fasting.
Cicada nymph on a tree, shedding its exoskeleton
Scientists Go Down the Cicada Hole
Lisa Winter | Jun 24, 2021
Brood X’s emergence tunnels—numbering in the hundreds per square meter of soil—give researchers a special opportunity to study how such extreme soil aeration affects the ecosystem.
a bay in the Antarctic
Nitrogen-Fixing Microbes Found in Antarctic Sea
Shawna Williams | Oct 28, 2020
The discovery puts a nail in the coffin of a long-held assumption about the limits of where the essential process can occur.
Baby Born from Egg that Was Matured and Frozen in the Lab
Catherine Offord | Feb 19, 2020
A cancer patient who underwent the new fertility preservation procedure successfully gave birth five years after her immature eggs were collected.
ants symbiotic plants
Image of the Day: Farming Ants
Amy Schleunes | Jan 22, 2020
Evolution imbued ants with an agriculture strategy that optimizes food rewards.
Image of the Day: Symbiotic Algae
Emily Makowski | Jan 13, 2020
Anemones keep their algae populations in check.
New Woes for MIT Media Lab
Ashley Yeager | Sep 24, 2019
Researchers say the Open Agricultural Initiative promoted a high-profile project with misleading claims, and documents show it violated state environmental regulations.
coral erosion bioerosion maui hawaii nitrogen isotopes wastewater
Image of the Day: Eroded Coral
Chia-Yi Hou | Apr 11, 2019
Coral reefs near Maui, Hawaii, show signs of erosion due to excess nutrients from wastewater.
An Invasive Midge Could Wreak Havoc on Antarctica
Carolyn Wilke | Dec 19, 2018
The insects have already transformed parts of Signy Island in the South Atlantic Ocean and could drastically change Antarctic ecosystems if introduced by humans.
Rat Remains Reveal Landscape Changes Wrought by Human Settlement of Polynesia
Shawna Williams | Sep 1, 2018
Isotope changes in the bones demonstrate a similar pattern across far-flung islands.
Image of the Day: Slimy Business
Sukanya Charuchandra | Aug 13, 2018
A new study reports finding corn species in Mexico that can trap nitrogen.
Rat Infestation Takes a Toll on Nearby Coral Reefs
Shawna Williams | Jul 12, 2018
A study shows that by killing off seabirds on islands, rodents slash the flow of nutrients into the ocean.
Even in the Bronze Age, Humans Altered Soil Chemistry
Kerry Grens | Jun 13, 2018
Ancient bones from Ireland reveal that farming has changed nitrogen composition in land for the last 3,000 years.
Adapting to Elevated CO2
Rina Shaikh-Lesko | Sep 1, 2015
High carbon dioxide levels can irreversibly rev up a cyanobacterium’s ability to fix nitrogen over the long term, a study finds.
Nitrogen-Fixing Bacterium Could Cut Biofuel Costs
Jenny Rood | Feb 2, 2015
Ethanol-producing Zymomonas mobilis can live on nitrogen gas, potentially cutting costs and environmental waste in biofuel production.
Light Lowers Blood Pressure
Tracy Vence | Jan 20, 2014
UVA exposure reduces human blood pressure by releasing nitric oxide metabolites from storage in the skin.
EPA to Address Nitrogen Pollution
Cristina Luiggi | Aug 23, 2011
The federal agency should reduce harmful nitrogen emissions by 25 percent in the next two decades, a new report says.