What is so Special About Marine Microorganisms? Introduction to the Marine Microbiome—From Diversity to Biotechnological Potential

  • Henk BolhuisEmail author
  • Mariana Silvia Cretoiu


Marine microscopic life varies from single-celled organisms, simple multicellular, to symbiotic microorganisms encompassing all three domains of life: Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya as well as biologically active entities such as viruses and viroids. Together they form the Ocean’s “microbiome”. Over billions of years of evolution this microbiome developed a plethora of adaptations and lifestyles and participates in the fluxes of virtually all chemical elements. The importance of the marine microbiome for human society and for the functioning of our living planet is not disputed. In this introductory chapter we bring to your attention some of the most important features of the marine microbiome and try to answer the question what distinguishes it from other microbial systems. Our main goal is to urge the reader to find more information about the taxonomic and functional diversity by exploring the specific chapters.


Marine Bacterium Microbial Community Composition High Hydrostatic Pressure Conveyor Belt Euphotic Zone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 311975. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the European Union cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marine Microbiology and BiogeochemistryNIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and Utrecht UniversityDen Burg, TexelThe Netherlands

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