Marine Bacteriophage - in Sediments

In Sediments

Marine bacteriophage form an important part of deep sea ecosystems. There are between 5x1012 and 1x1013 phage per square metre in deep sea sediments and their abundance closely correlates with the number of prokaryotes found in the sediments. They are responsible for the death of 80% of the prokaryotes found in the sediments, and almost all of these deaths are caused by cell lysis (bursting). They therefore play an important part in shifting nutrients from living forms into dissolved organic matter and detritus. This explains the high rate of nutrient turnover in deep sea sediments. The release of nutrients from infected bacteria stimulates the growth of uninfected bacteria and then these also become infected. Because of the importance of deep sea sediments in biogeochemical cycles, marine bacteriophage must influence the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, but the exact influences are currently not understood.

Read more about this topic:  Marine Bacteriophage

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