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Seagrasses survive thanks to subterranean symbiosis

18 June 2012
Seagrass (Photo: Marjolijn Christianen; Insert: Laura L. Govers)
Seagrass (Photo: Marjolijn Christianen; Insert: Laura L. Govers)

A great deal of silt collects around seagrass beds, and the decomposition of this organic matter releases a lot of poisonous sulphide. So how are seagrasses able to thrive? The surprising answer is thanks to bacteria growing in the gills of small clams living among their roots.

Tjisse van der Heide and his colleagues from the University of Groningen discovered this symbiotic relationship, and last Friday they published their findings in the journal Science. See also News & Analysis in Science.

Last modified:26 January 2016 12.25 p.m.
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