Research Uncovers Microscopic Key To Reducing Ocean Dead Zones

2015-09-23T14:17:22+00:00 September 23, 2015|
Coastal dead zones around the globe (Credit: Nofishleft.com)

(Click to enlarge) Coastal dead zones around the globe (Credit: Nofishleft.com)

Microbiologists are addressing the global environmental issue of ocean dead zones.

(From Science Daily) — Their research is discovering the potential of naturally occurring bacteria called rhizobia to stem the tide of oversaturation with nitrogen-based fertilizers.

Along the northern edge of the Gulf of Mexico is a 6,000-square mile dead zone of oxygen-depleted water filled with dead plants, dead fish and a damaged ecosystem. Dead zones like this occur when nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural fertilizers and sewage washes downstream into the ocean and creates huge blooms of toxic algae. Sadly, there are hundreds of them around the world.

Microbiologists at BYU, with financial backing from the National Science Foundation and the U.S Dept. of Agriculture, are addressing this global environmental issue by getting to the root of the problem. Their research, the most recent of which publishes this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is discovering the potential of naturally-occurring bacteria called rhizobia to stem the tide of oversaturation with nitrogen-based fertilizers.

Read the full article here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150922150046.htm