The picocyanobacterium Synechococcus spp.: its ecological success and adaptation strategies
Presenta: Cristiana Callieri
CNR IRSA - sede di Verbania
Cyanobacteria are among the oldest autotrophic organisms on Earth, and have contributed to shaping the planet's biogeochemistry with their significant biomass and key metabolic activities. Synechococcus, is one of the prevalent genera in the order Chroococcales, common in oceans and lakes and is characterized by a small size (around 2 µm) and a coccoid unicellular or microcolony morphology. This tiny cell is photoautotrophic, thus possessing all the machinery for photosynthesis, and even accessory pigments to capture light at different wavelengths, allowing the organism to adapt to different underwater light conditions. Here Dr. Callieri will present two case studies of adaptability and survival strategies of Synechococcus: the microcolony formation and the survival in the dark and anoxic conditions of the mesopelagic Black Sea. Even if Synechococcus spp. are more abundant in temperate waters, the adaptation to low temperatures and to long periods of darkness provides evidence for the extreme plasticity of this picocyanobacteria. The ability to adapt to disparate conditions by Synechococcus could have ensured the ubiquitous presence of this genus during Earth's evolution.
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