Name of plankton: Oceanic bacterioplankton

Where sample was found: Hydrostation S, 300m


Photo credit: Rachel Parsons, BIOS

What role do these organisms play in the ecosystem: Oceanic Bacterioplankton often attach to particles known as marine snow. These large bacteria are attached to marine snow particles where they are breaking down dissolved organic matter thereby making it available to higher trophic groups via the trophic pathway known as the microbial loop.

Interesting facts: The large bacteria attached to the particles are actively dividing. The DNA is clustered (seen as a yellowish dot) within the cell just prior to cell division.