Send to

Choose Destination
Science. 2005 Sep 30;309(5744):2179.

Extracellular DNA plays a key role in deep-sea ecosystem functioning.

Author information

Department of Marine Science, Faculty of Science, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy.


The ecological role and biogeochemical relevance of extracellular DNA in the oceanic sediments are unknown. Our global estimates indicate that up to 0.45 gigatons of extracellular DNA are present in the top 10 centimeters of deep-sea sediments, representing the largest reservoir of DNA in the world oceans. We demonstrate that extracellular DNA accounts for about one fifth of the total organic phosphorus regeneration and provides almost half of the prokaryotic demand for organic phosphorus. It therefore plays a key role in deep-sea ecosystem functioning on a global scale.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center