Wednesday, 26 January 2011

World's Largest, Most Complex Marine Virus Is Major Player in Ocean Ecosystems - Consortium for Ocean Leadership

photo credit Fenchel & D.J. Patterson

Cafeteria roenbergensis.

Can I just say that I love that the genus name is "Cafeteria"?


So what constitutes a "large marine virus"?

730,000 base pairs, that's what.

It doesn't compare to the approximately 3 billion base pairs of the human genome, but for an organism science still isn't sure is "alive" or not yet, it's pretty substantial. In fact, it's the second largest virus genome in the entire known world.

"Much of the genetic machinery we found in this virus you would only expect to find in living, cellular organisms, including many genes required to produce DNA, RNA, proteins and sugars," says Curtis Suttle, UBC professor and an expert in marine microbiology and environmental virology, lead author of the study.


Full article here (Consortium for Ocean Leadership)

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