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Press release 1999


April 16, 1999 The Largest Bacterium....

The Largest Bacterium: Scientist Discovers New Bacterial Life Form Off The African Coast

Even visible to the naked eye, newly discovered bacteria named Thiomargarita namibiensis are the largest prokaryotic organisms yet known. Biologist Heide Schulz from the Max Planck Institute for
Marine Microbiology in Bremen found these up to 3/4 mm wide
microorganisms during a cruise with the Russian research vessel
"Petr Kottsov" in sediments off the Namibian coast. The bacteria live from sulfide produced in the sea floor and store nitrate from the
seawater in an "anaerobic lung".

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