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Unexpected discovery: Seagrass emits sugar equivalent to 32 billion cans of soft drink

Unexpected discovery: Seagrass emits sugar equivalent to 32 billion cans of soft drink - Photo 1.

Ocean seagrass has released sugar equivalent to 32 billion cans of Coke soft drink – Photo: WINGS ENVIRONMENTAL

Seagrasses form the green grasslands at the bottom of many coastal waters around the world, and are one of the most efficient global carbon sequestration sources on the planet.

One km2 Seagrasses store carbon almost twice and 35 times faster than land-based forests SciTech Daily.

The type of sugar that is easy to digest and full of energy

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen (Germany) have discovered that seagrasses release a large amount of sugar in their biosphere. The sugar concentration under the seagrass is at least 80 times higher than in the marine environment.

Dr Manuel Liebeke, head of the research team at the Max Planck Institute, explains: “We estimate that worldwide there are about 0.6-1.3 million tons of sugar, mainly in the form of sucrose, in the rhizomes of the rhizomes. That’s almost comparable to the amount of sugar in 32 billion cans of Coke.”

Easy to digest and full of energy, why isn’t sucrose consumed by the huge microbial community in the seagrass biosphere?

What the researchers found was that seagrasses, like many other plants, release phenolic compounds into their sediments, says author Maggie Sogin.

Red wine, coffee and fruit are high in phenols and are considered by many to be health boosters. Few people know that phenol is antibacterial and inhibits the metabolism of most microorganisms.

In their experiment, the researchers added phenol isolated from seagrass to the microorganisms in the seagrass rhizomes – and indeed, much less sucrose was consumed than without the phenol.

Why do seagrasses produce such a large amount of sugar, which is then only released into their biosphere?

Nicole Dubilier, director of the Max Planck Institute, an expert in marine microbiology, explains: “Seagrasses produce sugars during photosynthesis. In medium light, these plants use most of the sugars for However, in high light, such as at midday or during the summer, plants produce more sugar than they can use or store. They then release excess sucrose. excess to the rhizome. Think of this as an overflow valve.”

Endangered living environment

Seagrasses under the ocean are among the most critically endangered habitats on our planet.

Dr. Liebeke and colleagues calculated that if the sucrose in seagrass rhizomes were broken down by bacteria, at least 1.54 million tons of CO2 will be released into the atmosphere worldwide. That number is roughly equivalent to the amount of CO2 emitted from 330,000 cars in a year.

Seagrasses are rapidly declining in all oceans. Annual losses are estimated at up to 7% in some locations, which is comparable to the loss of coral reefs and rainforests.

Up to one-third of the world’s seagrasses have disappeared.

Planting sea grass for... rice Planting sea grass for… rice

TTO – With many unique advantages, rice from zostera seagrass is assessed by the research team as being able to become a new food source in the future.

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