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Virovore : Organism That Eats Virus

First Known “Virovore : Organism That Eats Virus

Researchers have found the first known “Virovore,” or organism that eats viruses.

  • The new findings may change our understanding of the role viruses play in the food chain at a microscopic level.
  • Virovore has been identified as an actual species of protist that feasts on viruses.
  • These virus-eating species of protists — which are their own kingdom on the tree of life and are not an animal, plant, or fungi are now classified as Virovores.
  • It is a species of Halteria ,microscopic ciliates that populate freshwater worldwide.
  • The microbe Halteria is a common genus of protist known to flit about as its hair-like cilia propel it through the water.
  • They’re made up of nucleic acids, nitrogen, and phosphorus.
  • It can eat huge numbers of infectious chloroviruses that share their aquatic habitat.
  • Chloroviruses are known to infect microscopic green algae.
  • These organisms can sustain themselves with viruses, consuming many and growing in size.
  • A virus-only diet, termed “virovory,” is enough to fuel the physiological growth and even population growth of an organism.