NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Fragilariopsis cylindrus polar alga genome harbors a number of divergent alleles that may enable it to cope with the extremes of life in the Southern Ocean, a team of international researchers has reported.

During the winter, which is marked by periods of extensive darkness, F. cylindrus becomes part of sea ice. The ice can reach sub-zero temperatures Celsius, can have high salinity, and can have low diffusion and exchange of dissolved gasses and nutrients. In the summer, the alga is released when the ice melts.

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