Saharan dust affects marine bacteria, potential pathogen Vibrio


Iron can be hard to hard to come by in open marine waters — except each summer, when atmospherically transported dust from north Africa’s Sahara Desert provides pulses of biologically important nutrients, including iron, to the tropical marine waters of the Caribbean and southeastern US. Researchers found Vibrio bacteria respond rapidly to this influx of iron-rich Saharan dust, leading to large blooms of the potentially harmful bacteria.