Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 06 Issue 03

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Volume 06, No. 3
Pages 95 - 104

Probing Marine Systems with Ribosomal RNAs

Stephen GiovannoniS. Craig Cary
First Paragraph

The addition of molecular genetic tools to oceanographic toolboxes began with a pronounced emphasis on ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs). Already these molecules have been used to detect and examine the abundance of novel bacterioplankton species, to study host specificity and diversity among zooxanthellae, to identify the chemolithotrophic symbionts of hydrothermal vent metazoans, and to study evolutionary relationships among a myriad of species, including the most primitive metazoans. Here we review some present and projected applications of this molecule to oceanographic science and attempt to explain its preeminence in the emerging field of molecular oceanography.


Giovannoni, S., and S.C. Cary. 1993. Probing marine systems with ribosomal RNAs. Oceanography 6(3):95–104, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.1993.04.