The Role of Bacteria in the World
The Bacteria that is Necessary for Our Lives
A War We Need
Coccolithophorids fight for their lives against a diamond shaped virus. The virus hijacks the nucleus and the other cellular machinery once it is inside the coccolithophorid. Now, there are more diamond shaped viruses that are multiplying and taking up space. Then, a steady stream of viruses escape the coccolithophorid and continues the cycle of infecting others. Although many fail to survive, there are still ways that they fight the virus off. For example, at certain times, when the virus enters the coccolithophorid, it sends chemical signals to "warn" the others around it. As a result, as more become infected, the stronger the signal becomes. When one receives the message, it changes its DNA which results in the the white shields to change into scales. The scales became an adaptation against the virus. At other times, the cell kills itself instead. However, the virus has found out how to prevent the cell from killing itself. This "battle" has been taking place throughout all of the surface of the oceans, where several coccolithophore have been killed.
Why Is the "War" So Important?
If this war never existed, all humans alive today would cease to exist. These battles against the coccolithophore and the viruses are responsible for half the oxygen we breathe. The phytoplankton that go through these battles take in carbon dioxide, then exert a puff of oxygen. Without this battle that provides oxygen, humans and other organisms would not be able to live.