Caister Academic Press

Evolutionary Ecology of the Viruses of Microorganisms

Brian E. Ford, Marko Baloh and John J. Dennehy
from: Viruses of Microorganisms (Edited by: Paul Hyman and Stephen T. Abedon). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2018) Pages: 53-76.


With estimated numbers greater than 1031, viruses are the most abundant organisms on the planet, and occupy all habitats: aquatic, atmospheric and terrestrial. No cellular organisms - whether animal, plant or microbe - are free from viral parasitism. Consequently, the effects and influences of viruses are pervasive, directly or indirectly affecting all organisms, populations, communities and ecosystems. Here we consider the evolutionary ecology of the viruses of microorganisms (VoMs) which, due to the abundance of their hosts, outnumber all other types of viruses. Subfields of evolutionary ecology include life history evolution, population biology, biogeography, and community ecology. Like blind men describing an elephant, each approach only describes a facet of VoM evolutionary ecology. Here we describe some of the approaches used to describe VoM evolutionary ecology in hopes that a synthesis will allow some perception of the whole read more ...
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