Phages across the biosphere: contrasts of viruses in soil and aquatic environments

Res Microbiol. 2008 Jun;159(5):349-57. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2008.04.010. Epub 2008 May 8.


Despite the predominance of aquatic environments on the planet Earth, microbial abundance and diversity within soil environments exceed that of the aquatic realm. Most of what we know of viral ecology within natural systems has come through investigations of aquatic environments. However, the 'aquatic-bias' in viral ecology is beginning to change as the cultivation-independent approaches, which revealed the extraordinary abundance and diversity of viruses within aquatic systems, are now being applied to soils. This review briefly summarizes recent investigations of viral abundance and diversity in soil environments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / virology*
  • Bacteriophages / genetics
  • Bacteriophages / isolation & purification
  • Biodiversity
  • Fresh Water / microbiology
  • Fresh Water / virology*
  • Seawater / microbiology
  • Seawater / virology*
  • Soil Microbiology*
  • Viruses / genetics
  • Viruses / isolation & purification*