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Vampire algae killer's genetic diversity poses threat to biofuels

New DNA analysis has revealed surprising genetic diversity in a bacterium that poses a persistent threat to the algae biofuels industry. With the evocative name Vampirovibrio chlorellavorus, the predatory pest sucks out the contents of the algae cells (thus the vampire reference) and reduces a productive, thriving, green algae pond to a vat of rotting sludge.  "DNA sequences show what are likely different species, suggesting a much larger diversity in this family than we originally assumed," said Blake Hovde, a Los Alamos National Laboratory biologist. "That means the treatment for one algae pest might not work for another, which can be a big problem for large-scale algae cultivation in the future."  Read more....

 

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