Remember that French giant virus discoverer who got disappeared for Darwin denial? Well, while we are on the subject of large and giant (maybe non-Darwinian) viruses, they’re apparently common, not rare. One team decided to study the biggies as a group:
Another significant finding from the study was a common strategy employed by both large and giant viruses. Metabolic reprogramming, Schulz explained, makes the host function better under certain conditions, which then helps the virus to replicate faster and produce more progeny. This can provide short- and long-term impact on host metabolism in general, or on host populations impacted by adverse environmental conditions. Function prediction on the 2,000 new giant virus genomes led the team to uncover a prevalence of encoded functions that could boost host metabolism, such as genes that play roles in the uptake and transport of diverse substrates, and also photosynthesis genes including potential light-driven proton pumps. “We’re seeing that this is likely a common strategy among the large and giant viruses based on the predicted metabolism that’s encoded in the viral genomes,” he said. “It seems to be way more common than had been previously thought.”
Woyke noted that despite the number of metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) reconstructed from this effort, the team was still unable to link 20,000 major capsid proteins of large and giant viruses to any known virus lineage. “Getting complete, near complete, or partial giant virus genomes reconstructed from environmental sequences is still challenging and even with this study we are likely to just scratch the surface of what’s out there. Beyond these 2,000 MAGs extracted from 8,000 metagenomes, there are still a lot of giant virus diversity that we’re missing in the various ecosystems. We can detect a lot more MCPs than we can extract MAGs, and they don’t fit in the genome tree of viral diversity — yet.”
“We expect this to change with not only new metagenome datasets becoming available but also complementary single-cell sorting and sequencing of viruses together with their unicellular hosts,” Schulz added.DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, “Here, there and everywhere: Large and giant viruses abound globally” at ScienceDaily
Paper. (open access)
So giant viruses often boost host metabolism instead of destroying it and “the team was still unable to link 20,000 major capsid proteins of large and giant viruses to any known virus lineage”? Creation ex nihilo?
Hey, don’t laugh.. Look, these days, they can’t even get mouse or human sperm to buy into Darwinism. Why would giant viruses care?
Here is a site on giant viruses.
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