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Tiniest Catch: UA scientists' fishing expedition reveals viral diversity in the sea

Using bacteria as bait, UA scientists caught wild ocean viruses and found that the genetic lines between virus types in nature are less blurred than previously thought.

Sullivan Lab
By Daniel Stolte UA News July 14, 2014

A fishing expedition of microscopic proportions led by University of Arizona ecologists revealed that the lines between virus types in nature are less blurred than previously thought.

Using lab-cultured bacteria as "bait," a team of scientists led by Matthew Sullivan has sequenced complete and partial genomes of about 10 million viruses from an ocean water sample in a single experiment.

The study, published online Monday by the journal Nature, revealed that the genomes of viruses in natural ecosystems fall into more distinct categories than previously thought. This enables scientists to recognize actual populations of viruses in nature for the first time. Read the full article here.