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The Moscow forum Protist-2016
Update time: 2016-07-12
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The Moscow forum Protist-2016 took place at Moscow State University during June 6-10, 2016 and gathered leading researchers in all protistological fields, from molecular biology to ecology, stimulated cross-disciplinary interactions, and established long-term international collaborations. Renowned scientists presented plenary lectures on hot topics, and young researchers were invited to present the results of their work in mini-talk and poster sessions. The forum was of great significance to the international development of Protistology.

In this forum, the “Protist Diversity in Subsurface and Sediment” was most relevant with the research field of our team and drew my attention most. Marine sediments covers about 70 % surface of the planet, which represented a major sink of organic carbon produced in the surface from shallow coasts to deep oceans. In the near surface of sediments, there are complicated microbial food webs comprising bacteria, archaea, protists (microbial eukaryotes), fungi and viruses that play important roles in active biogeochemical processes and that perform a variety of ecological functions. Due to difficulties associated with isolation of protists from benthic particles and morphological identification, our knowledge of the diversity and function of protists in marine sediments is extremely limited compared with planktonic counterparts.

The research work mainly focuses on the biodiversity and ecological function of protist in the sediments in deep-sea, and it cost three years to analyses the protist biodiversity in the sediments samples taken from our teamwork. At present, the sampling for some extreme environments, such as deep-sea, it is almost impossible to completely acquire all the protist in the sediment, and conventional morphological identification methods limit our knowledge to the species diversity, biomass and community structures of protist in the deep-sea sediments. Through the Moscow Forum “Protist-2016”, it is realized that the gap between in and abroad should be narrowed in the future on one hand; and on the other hand, it also provide new methods and views for our own study.
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