New Year, new viral diet — literally.
Small, pond-dwelling Dumbbells ciliates are viruses, the virus can only survive on the diet, researchers report on December 27 Journal of the Academy of Sciences. Single-celled creatures are first known to thrive when viruses are the only thing on the menu.
Scientists already know that some microscopic organisms look for aquatic viruses like chloroviruses that infect and kill algae. But it was unclear whether the virus alone could provide enough nutrients for the organism to grow and reproduce, says ecologist John DeLong of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
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He is working on experiments in the laboratory, Dumbbells DeLong and colleagues found that they lived in vivarium droppings and expressed only chloroviruses for food. The number of men in the water is rendered; Dumbbells the numbers went up. Ciliates did not multiply without access to viral bites, or any food. But ParameciumA major microbe does not thrive on a soil diet, meaning that the virus cannot grow with the nutritional requirements of all ciliates.
The virus could be a good source of phosphorus, which is essential for making genetic material patterns, says DeLong. However, it is likely that a lot of viruses will cause a full recovery.
In the lab, everyone Dumbbells The microbe eats about 10,000 to 1 million viruses daily, the team estimates. Dumbbells in small pools of abundant viral particles they could emit viruses for about a quadrillion days.
These feasts could divert previously known energy into the food web, and add a new layer to the way viruses move carbon through the ecosystem — if it happens in the wild, DeLong says (SN: 6/9/16). His team begins to devise plans once the ponds in Nebraska thaw.
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