EAST BOOTHBAY, Maine (AP) -- The National Science Foundation is giving Maine's Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences more than $1 million for a project about microorganisms and the chemical composition of the Southern Ocean.

Bigelow's project will focus on the Southern Ocean near Antarctica. The lab says the area experiences seasonal phytoplankton blooms in which species of microalgae produce large amounts of the compound DMSP.

The work will focus on how DMSP influences the diversity and make-up of tiny organisms, called microbes, in the ocean.

Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King say the grant will help Bigelow's oceanographers to better understand growth of marine microorganisms. Collins is a Republican and King is an Independent.