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Blooms of Emiliania huxleyi

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Planet-Transforming Microbes Cycle Carbon: Blooms of Emiliania huxleyi, captured by satellite, are shown just off the coast of the United Kingdom. Though microscopic, these carbon-cycling cocolithophores are present in such large numbers that they are visible from space—an indicator of their pervasiveness and thus influence on ocean ecosystems. Their shells are made of calcium carbonate, and over the ages their deposits have created the White Cliffs of Dover on the southern coast of England. Understanding the planet-transforming capabilities of these and other ocean microbes—that is, how they affect ocean ecosystems by cycling carbon and other important elements—is a focus of the Genomics:GTL program. E. huxley'’s genome sequenced by DOE'’s Joint Genome Institute. For more information, see

Credit or Source: Contact: S. Groom, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, U.K., "Genomics:GTL Roadmap," U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, August 2005,


US DOE. 2005. Genomics:GTL Roadmap, DOE/SC-0090, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. (website)

Prepared by the Biological and Environmental Research Information System, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and