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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME - Vol. 65 No. 2 - Feature article
Several bathypelagic eukaryotes with DAPI-FITC staining. Arrows indicate the split-nucleus morphotype which dominated deep-water samples. Photos: D. Morgan-Smith.

Morgan-Smith D, Herndl GJ, van Aken HM, Bochdansky AB


Abundance of eukaryotic microbes in the deep subtropical North Atlantic


The dark ocean is the largest habitat of the world, yet is poorly understood ecologically. In this study, microbial eukaryotes from the meso- and bathypelagic were quantified using CARD-FISH and the stains DAPI and FITC. Overall eukaryote abundance decreased sharply with depth, but one morphological type remained constant, becoming the most abundant eukaryote in deep-water samples. The phylogenetic position of this organism has not been determined. Kinetoplastids, a diverse branch of the eukaryotes which are often missed by FISH probes, comprised about 10% of eukaryotic cells at all depths.


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