• Open Access

Trichodesmium a widespread marine cyanobacterium with unusual nitrogen fixation properties

Authors


Correspondence: Birgitta Bergman, Department of Botany, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden. Tel.: +46 706441305; fax: +46 816 5525; e-mail: bergmanb@botan.su.se

Abstract

The last several decades have witnessed dramatic advances in unfolding the diversity and commonality of oceanic diazotrophs and their N2-fixing potential. More recently, substantial progress in diazotrophic cell biology has provided a wealth of information on processes and mechanisms involved. The substantial contribution by the diazotrophic cyanobacterial genus Trichodesmium to the nitrogen influx of the global marine ecosystem is by now undisputable and of paramount ecological importance, while the underlying cellular and molecular regulatory physiology has only recently started to unfold. Here, we explore and summarize current knowledge, related to the optimization of its diazotrophic capacity, from genomics to ecophysiological processes, via, for example, cellular differentiation (diazocytes) and temporal regulations, and suggest cellular research avenues that now ought to be explored.

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