Published on 03 May 2023

A Plankton World Map: NTU helps shed light on unseen marine life worldwide

Photo Illustration: Pexels

Microscopic life dominates ocean waters, with more than 98 per cent of marine biomass comprising plankton and other microbial organisms invisible to the naked eye. Scientists from Singapore’s NTU, the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Uppsala University in Sweden now hope to bring this unseen life to light. The team came together to build, curate and publish a global database of thousands of samples of these organisms from across the world. Called metaPR2, the database was published in the Molecular Ecology Resources journal in 2022. Asst Prof Adriana Lopes dos Santos from NTU Asian School of the Environment, co-lead of the project, said: “Many people know protists or microbial eukaryotes by common names.” In the Web application that the team created, plankton communities are identified by colourful circles that speckle the world map like stickers.

Read the full article featured in The Straits Time here.