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Marine Viruses: Agents of Chaos, Promoters of Order

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The Marine Microbiome

Part of the book series: The Microbiomes of Humans, Animals, Plants, and the Environment ((MHAPE,volume 3))

Abstract

Marine viruses are considered the most enigmatic form of life in the oceans. They are, simultaneously, agents of chaos and promoters of order. Whether or not they can be considered living entities, they are active agents of infection and drivers of host diversity. Consequently, they modulate the dynamic changes of populations of marine bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. Marine viruses are highly abundant, diverse, and active components of marine environments and play a crucial role in the ecology and biogeochemistry of marine ecosystems. Their ecological importance across different marine biomes is attested by the profusion of studies published over the previous decades. Regardless of the substantial scientific output so far, the study on the nature and role of marine viruses is far from exhausted. Novel insights have, concurrently, tested hypotheses, consolidated previously knowledge collected, and pushed forward new lines of research. This chapter describes some of these insights published over the past 5 years, by addressing topics that range across various fields of marine virology.

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Acknowledgements

This work is dedicated to the memory of Professor Martin Sprung, for his enthusiastic commitment to unveil the mysteries of marine life to his students.

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Correspondence to Marcos Mateus .

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Mateus, M. (2022). Marine Viruses: Agents of Chaos, Promoters of Order. In: Stal, L.J., Cretoiu, M.S. (eds) The Marine Microbiome. The Microbiomes of Humans, Animals, Plants, and the Environment, vol 3. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-90383-1_6

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