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Primary gene for producing marine molecule discovered…and it has HUGE environmental impacts

Different+types+of+phytoplankton+under+a+microscope
Different types of phytoplankton under a microscope

Different types of phytoplankton under a microscope

www.marinephytoplankton.org

www.marinephytoplankton.org

Different types of phytoplankton under a microscope

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Dimethylsulfoniopropionate, also known as DMSP, is a key nutrient in marine ecosystems. Produced by phytoplankton, seaweed, and bacteria, this nutrient – when broken down – secretes a climate-cooling gas known as dimethylsulfide. The newfound DSYB gene, which is the primary gene involved in the synthesis of DMSP, was discovered recently at University of East Anglia in Norwich, England.

The gas (Dimethylsulfide), as stated by lead researcher Dr. Jonathan Todd, is “thought to affect climate by increasing cloud droplets that in turn reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the ocean’s surface”, meaning cooler waters for marine species. In addition to this, it is known to have a giant impact on the global sulfur cycle, especially in marine environments.

Marine phytoplankton are said to produce the majority of global DMSP. With this being said, the discovery of the DSYB gene will permit scientists and researchers to anticipate how powerful the production of this molecule will be in future climate trends, such as global warming and climate change.

Source: Sciencedaily.com

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