Viruses are probably the oldest, smallest, and certainly the most numerous and diverse organisms on Earth. Although they generate a general “sentiment of fear and loathing”, all living organisms are “linked by their universal ability to be infected by viruses”, but viruses are not just pathogens, because Viruses also controls pathogens by keeping “fast- growing bacterial populations” in check. Besides exerting a major “selective pressure on all life forms” viruses “shape the evolution of other organisms” by driving and testing the immune systems, where they increase their own reproductive fitness by boosting host fitness. Viruses are capable to “exert indirect evolutionary pressures on ecosystems”, but are “major drivers of global biochemical cycles” and “multitrophic symbioses”.
KeywordsVirus Bacteriophage Phages Prokaryotes Genomes Lateral and horizontal gene transfer Biochemical cycles Endosymbiotic bacteria Multitrophic symbioses
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