Microbiologists in Ohio State University only made a startling discovery – nearly 200,000 virus type are lurking in the oceans of the world.
In his article published in the Cell, the scientists said their findings could have many implications, including a better understanding of the evolution, biotechnology improvements and learn more about of Climate Change.
In a statement, microbiologist at Ohio State University and co-author of the study Matthew Sullivan was quoted as saying:
"Having this roadmap helps us do a lot of the things we would be interested in understanding better about the ocean, and I hate to say it, but maybe have to project the ocean at some point to combat climate change."
In their work, the researchers revealed that virus in the world's oceans are organized into five distinct areas. They have also discovered new places in the ocean that are full of species, but are under threat of human intervention. Many of these hotspots are located in Arctic Ocean.
In total, the researchers who composed the recent Tara Oceans The global oceanographic research expedition was able to distinguish about 196,000 species of marine viruses. The count reportedly exceeded the 15,000 known species of viruses assembled in previous expeditions and the 2,000 known genomes of cultured virus from microbes.
"Viruses are those little things you can not even see, but as they are present in such large numbers, they really matter. We have developed a distribution map that is fundamental for anyone who wants to study how viruses manipulate the ecosystem. There were many things that surprised us with our discoveries. "
The team study was conducted using samples collected in different parts of the ocean between 2009 and 2013. They then filtered the samples and analyzed the organisms contained therein, ranging in size from microbial to fish.
According to the researchers, getting a fuller picture of viral distribution in the world's oceans can help them, and other scientists, identify the species of viruses they should focus on in their studies.
In addition, the distribution map they created can also be used by other aquatic research initiatives "To answer questions about how levels of microorganisms change over time in response to both seasonal variation and climate change."
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