Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Microbiological oceanography

Hidden in a sea of microbes

The photosynthetic activities of bacteria in the oceans are more diverse than previously thought. A full picture of the marine energy budget will require their separate contributions to be teased apart.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: A current view of the complex relationships between sunlight, biological energy production and dissolved organic matter (DOM) in the open sea.


  1. Shiba, T., Simidu, U. & Taga, N. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 38, 43–45 (1979).

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  2. Kolber, Z. S., Van Dover, C. L., Niederman, R. A. & Falkowski, P. G. Nature 407, 177–179 (2000).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Kolber, Z. S. et al. Science 292, 2492–2495 (2001).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Béjà, O. et al. Nature 415, 630–633 (2002).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Chisholm, S. W. et al. Nature 334, 340–343 (1988).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. DeLong, E. F. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 89, 5685–5689 (1992).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Karner, M. B., DeLong, E. F. & Karl, D. M. Nature 409, 507–510 (2001).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Béjà, O. et al. Science 289, 1902–1906 (2000).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Zehr, J. P. et al. Nature 412, 635–638 (2001).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Moon-van der Staay, S. Y., De Wachter R. & Vaulot, D. Nature 409, 607–610 (2001).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Van Leeuwenhoek, A. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 11, 821–831 (1677).

    Google Scholar 

  12. Goericke, R. Limnol. Oceanogr. 47, 290–295 (2002).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Yurkov, V. V. & Beatty, J. T. Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. 62, 695–724 (1998).

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to David M. Karl.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Karl, D. Hidden in a sea of microbes. Nature 415, 590–591 (2002).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing