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    Griffin, Dale Warren 2013. The Quest for Extraterrestrial Life: What About the Viruses?. Astrobiology, Vol. 13, Issue. 8, p. 774.


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  • International Journal of Astrobiology, Volume 8, Issue 2
  • April 2009, pp. 95-100

On the astrobiological relevance of viruses in extraterrestrial ecosystems

  • Matti Jalasvuori (a1), Anni-Maria Örmälä (a1) and Jaana K.H. Bamford (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1473550409004479
  • Published online: 01 May 2009
Abstract
Abstract

Viruses are the dominant form of genetically reproducing entities on Earth. Yet, viruses are mostly neglected in the context of astrobiology due to their non-living nature. In this discussion it is considered whether viruses are likely to be transferred within bacterial endospores to other planetary bodies through lithopanspermia. Interestingly, it seems possible that ecosystems of panspermial origin might yield biospheres in which viruses are absent. The evolutionary pathway of life in these systems might differ significantly from the path observed on Earth. We hypothesize that the difference in the two potential ways for the emergence of life, those being panspermial or local origin, on any certain planet could be clarified by analyzing the diversity of virosphere on the planet. The use of viruses as putative biomarkers is also discussed and studied.

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e-mail: matti.jalasvuori@jyu.fi
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International Journal of Astrobiology
  • ISSN: 1473-5504
  • EISSN: 1475-3006
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-astrobiology
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