Here a Virus, There a Virus, Everywhere the Same Virus?
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
There are an estimated 1031 viruses on Earth, most of which are phages that infect bacteria. Metagenomic analyses have shown that environmental viral communities are incredibly diverse. There are an estimated 5000 viral genotypes in 200 liters of seawater and possibly a million different viral genotypes in one kilogram of marine sediment. By contrast, some culturing and molecular studies have found that viruses move between different biomes. Together, these findings suggest that viral diversity could be high on a local scale but relatively limited globally. Also, by moving between environments, viruses can facilitate horizontal gene transfer.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Trends in Microbiology, v. 13, no. 6, p. 278-284
Scholar Commons Citation
Breitbart, Mya and Rohwer, Forest, "Here a Virus, There a Virus, Everywhere the Same Virus?" (2005). Marine Science Faculty Publications. 787.