The TWiV hosts present two potentially seminal papers, on long-distance chemoattraction of a host by a chlorovirus, and replication of a nanovirus across multiple cells in a plant. Click arrow to play Download TWiV 539 (62 MB .mp3, 102 min) Subscribe (free): iTunes, Google Podcasts, RSS, email Become a patron of TWiV! Show notes at microbe.tv/twiv
Viruses have no intrinsic means of locomotion, but because of their small size their movement can be driven by Brownian motion. Propagation of viruses is dependent on essentially random encounters with potential hosts and host cells. An exception appears to be chloroviruses, which can attract their host from a distance.
The latest giant virus discovery is Tetraselmis virus 1, which infects green algae. It is unusual because it encodes enzymes involved in fermentation. Green beer, anyone?
On episode #315 of the science show This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, Rich and Kathy discuss the association of a virus with sea star melting disease, and the finding of a phycodnavirus in the oropharynx of humans with altered cognitive functions. You can find TWiV #315 at www.microbe.tv/twiv.
Many well-known human viruses, including poliovirus, rabies virus, West Nile virus, can infect cells of the nervous system, leading to alterations in the function of that organ. Could a virus that infects algae also cause human neurological alterations? Chloroviruses are large DNA-containing viruses that infect unicellular algae called zoochlorellae (pictured: image credit, ViralZone). Unexpectedly, chlorovirus …
On episode #34 of the science show This Week in Microbiology, Vincent, Michael, and Elio discuss changing populations of Emiliania huxleyi and their viruses in the North and Black Seas. You can find TWiM #34 at microbeworld.org/twim.