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New Study Examines Genetic Makeup Of Chesapeake Bay's Microorganisms

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University of Maryland researchers are focusing on the environmental factors in the Chesapeake Bay's food chain.
Sylvia Carignan
University of Maryland researchers are focusing on the environmental factors in the Chesapeake Bay's food chain.

By Greg Peppers

Algae, bacteria and other microorganisms at the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay's food chain are the focus of a federally funded study.

Researchers from the University of Maryland will study the genetic makeup of the microorganisms and learn how they are affected by pollutants and other environmental factors.

"We hope to find novel species in the Chesapeake Bay, and we will establish the new research baseline for the micro-algae, which some of these data can be used for other eco-systems as well," says Dr. Feng Chen, an associate professor of Biotechology.

The $100,000 year-long study will be conducted by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science at its Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology in Baltimore.

The Bay's Blue Crab and oysters have been studied for years, but the microorganism study will be the first of its kind and will help researchers better understand the environment in which such species live.

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