Learn more about the diversity and abundance of files virus in the oceans is important in explaining the role of microbes in adapting to seas to me climate change. Now, a scientific team has identified 5,500 new types of viruses RNA In samples collected around the world.
And according to the scientists, who published their findings in: the journal “Science”.
RNA viruses are “obviously important in our world”, but only a small part of them are studied: the few hundreds that harm humans, plants and animals.
In this research, the scientists wanted to study it systematically on a large scale and explore an environment that no one had analyzed in depth: “We were lucky because almost all of the species were new, and many were really new,” says a note from Ohio State University.
By combining machine learning analyzes with traditional phylogenetic trees, the team identified 5,500 new species of RNA viruses, hundreds of which can be included in the five known classes of RNA viruses. The researchers suggest that at least five new phyla would be needed to include them all.
The most abundant group of newly discovered species is grouped into the phylum ‘Taraviricota’, which researchers have suggested as novel.
It’s a reference to the source of the 35,000 water samples that enabled the analysis: the Tara Ocean Consortium, an ongoing global study of the impact of climate change on the world’s oceans, aboard the Tara schooner.
said Matthew Sullivan, lead author of the study and researcher at Ohio State University.
While microbes uniquely contribute to all life on this planet, the viruses that infect and interact with them have a variety of effects on microbial function.
These types of viruses are believed to have three main functions: killing cells, changing the way infected cells handle energy, and transferring genes from one host to another.
The study authors say a better understanding of the diversity and abundance of viruses in the world’s oceans will help explain the role of marine microbes in ocean adaptation to climate change.
Oceans absorb half of human-generated carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and previous research by this group has suggested that marine viruses are a biological “pump button” that affects carbon storage in the ocean.
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