Estimated number of tailed phages in the biosphere

Range >1E+30 tailed phages
Organism Biosphere
Reference Mann NH. Phages of the marine cyanobacterial picophytoplankton. FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2003 Apr27(1):17-34. p.19 left column bottom paragraphPubMed ID12697340
Primary Source Brüssow H, Hendrix RW. Phage genomics: small is beautiful. Cell. 2002 Jan 11 108(1):13-6 p.13 right column 2nd paragraphPubMed ID11792317
Comments Ref:"More than 5100 phages belonging to 13 families have been described since 1959 and 96% are tailed phages [28]. In keeping with this observation, tailed phages are the most abundant phages in the marine environment (for review see [9]). Indeed, it has been estimated that there are more than 10^30 tailed phages in the biosphere [primary source]." Primary source:"96% of all bacterial viruses are tailed phages (Caudovirales)...There are an estimated >10^30 tailed phages in the biosphere (figure 2), and since phage particles typically outnumber prokaryotic cells by about 10-fold in environmental samples, the tailed phages probably constitute an absolute majority of “organisms” on our home planet in sheer numbers."
Entered by Uri M
ID 104839