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Title:Sulfolobus Spindle Shaped Viruses isolated from Russian hot spring
Author(s):Black, Jesse
Contributor(s):Whitaker, Rachel
Abstract:This image shows multiple particles of a Sulfolobus spindle shaped virus (SSV) isolated from an acidic hot spring in the Kamchatka Peninsula (Russia). These spindle shaped viruses infect Sulfolobus islandicus, a hyper thermophilic microbe that belongs to the third domain of life, the Archaea. Since their discovery in the late 1970's by Carl Woese at the University of Illinois, Archaea were thought to be found only in extreme environments. In recent years, with the advent of new technologies and methodologies, we have begun to uncover that archaea are found everywhere from deep-sea hydrothermal vents to the human gut. Viruses that infect archaea have been shown to possess novel and unique characteristics not typically found in viruses that infect bacteria or eukaryotes. The viruses pictured here are one example of this. They possess a lemon-shaped morphology that has been only found in archaeal viruses. These viruses are thought to attach to cells using sticky tail fibers located at one end of the viral particle allowing them to infect the host cell. The dark body in the center of the image may be debris from a dead cell surrounded by viruses that have "mistaken" it for a potential host. For more information about the Image of Research--Undergraduate Edition go to:
Issue Date:2014-05
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Jesse Black
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-13

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