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Cryptic microbial hydrocarbon cycling

Cyanobacteria, which produce ~25% of global oxygen, also release around 100 times more hydrocarbons into the ocean than all petroleum sources. A cryptic microbial cycle explains why these hydrocarbons do not accumulate in the sea.

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Fig. 1: Short- and long-term hydrocarbon cycles in the global ocean.


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Correspondence to Terry J. McGenity.

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McGenity, T.J., McKew, B.A. & Lea-Smith, D.J. Cryptic microbial hydrocarbon cycling. Nat Microbiol 6, 419–420 (2021).

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