New planktonic symbiosis found in the ocean
Waikel, Patricia A. Department of Biological Sciences, Broward College, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
- Relationship between UCYN-A and its algal host
- UCYN-A genome
- Nitrogen fixation
- Implications for endosymbiosis
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Symbiosis is the long-term biological interaction of two species. The three major types of symbiosis are mutualism, where both partners benefit from the relationship; commensalism, where one partner benefits and the other is neither harmed nor benefited; and parasitism, where one partner benefits at the expense of the other. A well-known mutualistic symbiosis in the ocean is that of reef-building corals and zooxanthellae (algal dinoflagellates that reside in the coral polyp). The coral receives carbohydrates and oxygen from the dinoflagellate partner as a result of photosynthesis. In return, metabolic waste products from the coral are used by the algal symbiont. This type of symbiosis has been directly observed both in the laboratory and in the field.
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