Bacteria and The Ocean

The Good and Bad Bacteria found in ocean water.

Preston Perry and Ermin Celebic

2 Types of Harmful Bacteria: VIBRIO VULNIFICUS

According to Florida health officials, flesh-eating bacteria live in warm ocean water off the shores of our beaches. The bacteria live in any warm ocean climate, but are sporadic. They are responsible for 32 hospitalizations and 10 deaths in Florida over the span of a few years. The capsule is made of polysaccharides, which is thought to be a type of protection. It’s a part of the Eubacteria kingdom.


It’s a lactic acid acid bacteria. Kingdom is Eubacteria. Affects intestinal tracks and urinary track infections. Enterococcus is a large genus of lactic acid bacteria of the phylum Firmicutes. Enterococci are Gram-positive cocci that often occur in pairs or short chains, and are difficult to distinguish from streptococci on physical characteristics alone. They are capable of cellular respiration in both oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor environments. Though they are not capable of forming spores, enterococci are tolerant of a wide range of environmental conditions: extreme temperature (10-45°C), pH (4.5-10.0) and high sodium chloride concentrations.

2 Types of Useful Bacteria: Cyanobacteria

'Blue-green algae' or cyanobacteria are a type of microscopic, algae-like bacteria which inhabit freshwater, coastal and marine waters.

Cyanobacteria photosynthesise like plants and have similar requirements for sunlight, nutrients and carbon dioxide to grow and produce oxygen. There are many different varieties of blue-green algae. While often a green or blue-green colour, they can also be white, brown, blue, yellow-brown, or red.

Cyanobacteria are bacteria that grow in water and are photosynthetic (use sunlight to create food and support life). Cyanobacteria live in terrestrial, fresh, brackish, or marine water. They usually are too small to be seen, but sometimes can form visible colonies. Cyanobacteria have been found among the oldest fossils on earth and are one of the largest groups of bacteria. Cyanobacteria have been linked to human and animal illnesses around the world, including North and South America, Africa, Australia, Europe, Scandinavia, and China.’

They have been in existence for at least 2.7 billion years, and are considered to be the main primary producers of organic matter and the first organisms to have released oxygen into the primitive atmosphere.


The marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus is the smallest and most abundant photosynthetic organism on Earth. Prochlorococcus typically divides once a day in the subsurface layer of oligotrophic areas, where it dominates the photosynthetic biomass. It also possesses a remarkable pigment complement which includes divinyl derivatives of chlorophyll a (Chl a) and Chl b, the so-called Chl a2 and Chl b2, and, in some strains, small amounts of a new type of phycoerythrin. This vertical species variation has allowed Prochlorococcus to adapt to the natural light gradient occurring in the upper layer of oceans. Studies show that Prochlorococcus can grow quite quickly in nutrient-poor habitats. Prochlorococcus are important due to their contribution to oxygen production.


Prochlorococcus is the base of the oceanic food chain, the smallest, most efficient and most abundant photosynthesizer that has been identified. The small size of prochorococcus prevented researchers from identifying the organism until about 15 years ago.