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Trends Microbiol. 2007 Sep;15(9):398-407. Epub 2007 Aug 10.

Code and context: Prochlorococcus as a model for cross-scale biology.

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  • 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Prochlorococcus is a simple cyanobacterium that is abundant throughout large regions of the oceans, and has become a useful model for studying the nature and regulation of biological diversity across all scales of complexity. Recent work has revealed that environmental factors such as light, nutrients and predation influence diversity in different ways, changing our image of the structure and dynamics of the global Prochlorococcus population. Advances in metagenomics, transcription profiling and global ecosystem modeling promise to deliver an even greater understanding of this system and further demonstrate the power of cross-scale systems biology.

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