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Uncovering Earth's virome.

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PubMed ID: 27533034

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Paez-Espino D, Eloe-Fadrosh EA, Pavlopoulos GA, Thomas AD, Huntemann M, Mikhailova N, Rubin E, Ivanova NN, Kyrpides NC

Nature. Aug 2016

COMMENT: Analyzing bacteria in microbiomes is much more easier than analyzing viruses. 16S approach for bacterial and archaeal taxonomic profiling is a convenient general approach. For viruses we don't have a similar strategy and shotgun approach is the only general approach to analyze the virome feasible at this moment.

In this paper the authors have studied a huge amount of sequences (5 Tb) from more than 3000 samples coming from different places. The results are also quantitatively impressive:

  • they have detected 125000 partial DNA viral genomes
  • they have increased the number of known viral genes by 16-fold
  • they have doubled the number of microbial phyla that are known to be infected by viruses

In summary, their results provide an extensive global viral diversity, prediction of previously unknown host–viral interactions and a detailed insight into viral habitat distribution.

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Eduardo Pareja