Multitasking Is This Plankton's Trademark Questions
Nitrogen fixation is the conversion of atmospheric nitrogen (N2) into forms that organisms can use (NH4+, NO2-, NO3-). Only a few microbes are able to do this! We may have Trichodesmium in the waters around Whidbey Island since we have red tides here.
Answer the questions in complete sentences on a separate sheet of paper.
- The cyanobacteria Trichodesmium processes _______________ to make ammonia and produces ___________ as part of photosynthesis.
- Why did your answer to number 1 cause researchers to wonder about Trichodesmium?
- Trichodesmium is a _______________ plankton.
- How long have researchers been puzzled about Trichodesmium?
- How does Trichodesmium stimulate ocean productivity?
- Describe why oxygen is a problem for nitrogen-fixing organisms.
- What is the gender of co-author Dr. Berman-Frank?
- Those microbiologists! What is the joke in saying Dr. Dugdale's observations 40 years ago were "nitrogen fiction"?
- What did Dr. Berman-Frank find that showed how the oxygen-producing enzymes associated with photosynthesis did not interfere with nitrogenase activity.
- What two findings make researchers think that Trichodesmium has "exquisite control over where and when these two processes go on."
- Describe the disagreement Dr Berman-Frank and Dr. Zehr have about Trichodesmium's place in evolution.
Pennisi, Elizabeth. "Multitasking is this Plankton's Trademark". Science. Nov 16, 2001. Vol 294. No. 5546.