This collage shows examples of the types of marine microbes and diverse habitats included in the microbial census. From the leftmost panel, ICo MM is one of 14 Census of Marine Life ocean realm projects that explores the diversity, distribution, and abundance of microbial life in the oceans.
In 2006, ICo MM served as the coordinating body that helped to secure funding from the W. Keck Foundation for a 454 DNA pyrosequencing system dedicated to DNA tag sequencing projects.
Marine microbes regulate the composition of the atmosphere, influence climate, recycle nutrients, and decompose pollutants.
Without microbes, multicellular animals on Earth would not have evolved or persisted over the past 500 million years.
Additional information about ICo MM's membership, scope and activities can be found on the ICo MM website: edu.
From the time of their origins, single-cell organisms – initially anaerobic and later aerobic – have served as essential catalysts for all of the chemical reactions within biogeochemical cycles that shape planetary change and habitability.