Thursday, August 28, 2008

deep sea viruses

We all know about tube worms and black smokers of course, but today I found out from an article in Nature (page 1084 and cover illustration) that viruses play a major role in the biological cycles beyond 1000 m depth. Rather than being eaten by other organisms, the deep sea microbes (which by the way are more likely to be archaea than eubacteria) are most likely to die by viral infection, with the result that they spill their biomolecules into the sea to be eaten by others.

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