After three years of covid-19, no one doubts the pathogenic role and morbidity of viruses. Thus, these microorganisms, which are the main predators in food chains, they themselves serve as food for small protists (like protozoa and algae) not only do they eat viruses, but they thrive on this diet.
The finding emerged in a new study published in the journal late December (27). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)It starts from the principle that viruses are almost everywhere and their structures are the same. “appetizing”: nucleic acids, abundant nitrogen and phosphorus.
“Everything must want to eat them. Most things eat anything they can catch. “Of course someone would have learned to eat these really good raw materials,” says first author of the study, John DeLong, of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the US.
How researchers discovered the virus-eating microbe
To test the hypothesis that viruses are not only a source of infection but also a source of nutrition, DeLong and his team collected water samples from a lake and isolated any microorganism they found. Then they added large amounts of chlorovirus, a freshwater resident known to infect green algae.
The researchers stepped on a ciliate called a ciliate, monitoring the population size of the colonies to see if any of the microbes had eaten the viruses. halter. In water samples treated with a virus-only diet, freshwater plankton grew about 15 times in just two days.
to make sure it’s halter Eating infectious agents, the team stained some of the chloroviruses’ DNA with a fluorescent green dye. Soon the vacuoles of the ciliates (equivalent to stomachs) turned bright green.
ARTICLE – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2215000120.
Source: Tec Mundo
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