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Ocean Viruses Have Significant Effect on Marine Biology

Viruses fill the ocean and have a significant effect on ocean biology, specifically marine microbiology, according to Craig A. Carlson, professor with UCSB’s Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, and his colleagues.

The new findings, resulting from a decade of research in the water column of the Saragasso Sea off Bermuda, reveal striking recurring patterns of marine virioplankton dynamics in the open sea, which have implications regarding our understanding of cycling of nutrients in the world’s oceans.

“Microbial interactions, between oceanic viruses and bacteria, take place on the nanometer scale but are extremely important in governing the flow of energy and the cycling of nutrients like carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus on the ecosystem scale of the world’s oceans,” said Carlson.

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