Heterotrophic picoplankton

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Heterotrophic picoplankton is the fraction of plankton composed by cells between 0.2 and 2 μm that do not perform photosynthesis.

Cells can be either :

Archaea form a major part of the picoplankton in the Antarctic and are abundant in other regions of the ocean.[1] Archaea have also been found in freshwater picoplankton, but do not appear to be so abundant in these environments.[2]


  1. ^ Delong, E.F.; Wu, K.Y.; Prezelin, B.B.; Jovine, R.V.M. (1994). "High Abundance of Archaea in Antarctic Marine Picoplankton". Nature. 371 (6499): 695–697. doi:10.1038/371695a0. PMID 7935813. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
  2. ^ Keough, B.P.; Schmidt, T.M.; Hicks, R.E. (2003). "Archaeal Nucleic Acids in Picoplankton from Great Lakes on Three Continents" (PDF). Microbial Ecology. 46 (2): 238–248. doi:10.1007/s00248-003-1003-1. PMID 14708748. Retrieved 2008-07-01.