Scientists find evidence of virus-eating micro organisms

NEW YORK, Sept 28:
Scientists have found the first compelling evidence that two groups of ecologically important marine micro organisms could be eating viruses — catching their “prey” and engulfing them, an advance that may lead to a better understanding of the flow of organic matter in the oceans.
The findings, published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, go against the currently predominant views of the role of both viruses and these groups of single-celled organisms called protists in the marine food webs. “Our data show that many protist cells contain DNA of a wide variety of non-infectious viruses but not bacteria, strong evidence that they are feeding on viruses rather than on bacteria,” said study corresponding author Ramunas Stepanauskas, Director of the Single Cell Genomics Center at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in the US. (PTI)