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Claire de Thoisy-Méchin

Press Relations

Tel. +33 (0)1 44 27 23 34

Email: claire.de_thoisy-mechin@upmc.fr


In English:

Katherine Tyrka

International Press Relations

tel. +33 (0)1 44 27 51 05

Email: katherine.tyrka@upmc.fr

Scientists Uncover the Secrets of Microalgaes Called Diatoms

As part of an international collaboration, a team of French researchers has revealed new aspects of the cellular mechanisms underlying the amazing photosynthesizing capabilities of the tiny single-cell marine organisms known as diatoms. In seeking to find the reasons why these organisms dominate the marine phytoplankton community, the scientists have discovered an unexpected interaction between photosynthesis and respiration in diatoms. This bioenergetic process gives us a better understanding of how diatoms convert light energy into organic materials with such efficiency, and could open up new and promising developments in biotechnology. These results, with contributions from the CEA, the CNRS, Inra, Inserm, the École Normale Supérieure, the Joseph Fourier, Paris-Sud and Pierre and Marie Curie Universities, and the commercial company Fermentalg, were published on the website of the journal Nature on July 13.


Photo credit: Diatoms, by Picturepest

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