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How does the Great Barrier Reef get its nitrogen fix?

29 June 2017

Scientists have long wondered how coral reefs can be so biologically active when the water arround them is relatively low in essential elements such as nitrogen
Using new techniques, that target bacterial genes, specialised nitrogen-fixing bacteria have been identified for the first time.

ocean horizon

When Captain James Cook and the botanist Sir Joseph Banks navigated Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in the 1770s they described blooms of “sea sawdust” we now know to be the cyanobacterium Trichodesmium. Similarly, in 2014, a UTS led research voyage found the species in abundance, but with the benefit of new molecular biological techniques they were also able to identify other important species of bacteria that could help solve a scientific puzzle.

Read the full story at the UTS Newsroom.