Are we missing half of the viruses in the ocean?

Grieg F Steward, Alexander I Culley, Jaclyn A Mueller, Elisha M Wood-Charlson, Mahdi Belcaid, Guylaine Poisson
  • The ISME Journal, November 2012, Springer Science + Business Media
  • DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2012.121

Abundance of RNA viruses in seawater

What is it about?

In this paper we estimated the relative abundance of RNA viruses in coastal seawater and concluded that they are as abundant as DNA viruses.

Why is it important?

It has been assumed that most viruses in seawater infect bacteria (i.e., are bacteriophages), and that most of those bacteriophages contain DNA. From this it seemed to follow that most viruses in seawater would have DNA genomes. Our data provide the first evidence that RNA viruses, which almost exclusively infect protists rather than bacteria, are equally abundant.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ismej.2012.121

The following have contributed to this page: Professor Grieg F Steward and Dr Alexander I Culley