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Viral information.

Rohwer F, Barott K - Biol Philos (2012)

Bottom Line: Based on this premise, it is proposed that the thermodynamic consequences of physical information (e.g., Landauer's principle) are observed in natural viral populations.This link between physical and genetic information is then used to develop the Viral Information Hypothesis, which states that genetic information replicates itself to the detriment of system energy efficiency (i.e., is viral in nature).Finally, we show how viral information can be tested, and illustrate how this novel view can explain existing ecological and evolutionary theories from more fundamental principles.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182 USA.

ABSTRACT
Viruses are major drivers of global biogeochemistry and the etiological agents of many diseases. They are also the winners in the game of life: there are more viruses on the planet than cellular organisms and they encode most of the genetic diversity on the planet. In fact, it is reasonable to view life as a viral incubator. Nevertheless, most ecological and evolutionary theories were developed, and continue to be developed, without considering the virosphere. This means these theories need to be to reinterpreted in light of viral knowledge or we need to develop new theory from the viral point-of-view. Here we briefly introduce our viral planet and then address a major outstanding question in biology: why is most of life viral? A key insight is that during an infection cycle the original virus is completely broken down and only the associated information is passed on to the next generation. This is different for cellular organisms, which must pass on some physical part of themselves from generation to generation. Based on this premise, it is proposed that the thermodynamic consequences of physical information (e.g., Landauer's principle) are observed in natural viral populations. This link between physical and genetic information is then used to develop the Viral Information Hypothesis, which states that genetic information replicates itself to the detriment of system energy efficiency (i.e., is viral in nature). Finally, we show how viral information can be tested, and illustrate how this novel view can explain existing ecological and evolutionary theories from more fundamental principles.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Searching for viral information. The line indicates where the amount of physical information and genetic information contained within cells are equal. Communities above the line contain more physical than genetic information due to low genetic diversity (few species but many individuals), with each individual requiring a certain amount of energy regardless of its genetic composition. Communities below the line contain more genetic information. It is here that the energetic cost of information becomes apparent, and where we expect to find viral information
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Fig4: Searching for viral information. The line indicates where the amount of physical information and genetic information contained within cells are equal. Communities above the line contain more physical than genetic information due to low genetic diversity (few species but many individuals), with each individual requiring a certain amount of energy regardless of its genetic composition. Communities below the line contain more genetic information. It is here that the energetic cost of information becomes apparent, and where we expect to find viral information

Mentions: The destruction of physical information, as discussed above, results in the release of heat according to Landauer’s Principle. This heat can be measured by calorimetry. Specifically, isothermal calorimetry tells us about the conversion rate of physical information of a community into heat.4 Genetic information of the same community can also be measured, in this case by sequencing the DNA. Based on these two techniques, we propose the following experiment where physical information is followed using calorimetry, and genetic information is followed using metagenomics. When the two are plotted as shown in Fig. 4, we propose that a community dominated by viral information occurs in the lower right region of the graph where genetic information is made at the expense of thermodynamic efficiency (i.e., low conversion to physical information).Fig. 4


Viral information.

Rohwer F, Barott K - Biol Philos (2012)

Searching for viral information. The line indicates where the amount of physical information and genetic information contained within cells are equal. Communities above the line contain more physical than genetic information due to low genetic diversity (few species but many individuals), with each individual requiring a certain amount of energy regardless of its genetic composition. Communities below the line contain more genetic information. It is here that the energetic cost of information becomes apparent, and where we expect to find viral information
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3585991&req=5

Fig4: Searching for viral information. The line indicates where the amount of physical information and genetic information contained within cells are equal. Communities above the line contain more physical than genetic information due to low genetic diversity (few species but many individuals), with each individual requiring a certain amount of energy regardless of its genetic composition. Communities below the line contain more genetic information. It is here that the energetic cost of information becomes apparent, and where we expect to find viral information
Mentions: The destruction of physical information, as discussed above, results in the release of heat according to Landauer’s Principle. This heat can be measured by calorimetry. Specifically, isothermal calorimetry tells us about the conversion rate of physical information of a community into heat.4 Genetic information of the same community can also be measured, in this case by sequencing the DNA. Based on these two techniques, we propose the following experiment where physical information is followed using calorimetry, and genetic information is followed using metagenomics. When the two are plotted as shown in Fig. 4, we propose that a community dominated by viral information occurs in the lower right region of the graph where genetic information is made at the expense of thermodynamic efficiency (i.e., low conversion to physical information).Fig. 4

Bottom Line: Based on this premise, it is proposed that the thermodynamic consequences of physical information (e.g., Landauer's principle) are observed in natural viral populations.This link between physical and genetic information is then used to develop the Viral Information Hypothesis, which states that genetic information replicates itself to the detriment of system energy efficiency (i.e., is viral in nature).Finally, we show how viral information can be tested, and illustrate how this novel view can explain existing ecological and evolutionary theories from more fundamental principles.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182 USA.

ABSTRACT
Viruses are major drivers of global biogeochemistry and the etiological agents of many diseases. They are also the winners in the game of life: there are more viruses on the planet than cellular organisms and they encode most of the genetic diversity on the planet. In fact, it is reasonable to view life as a viral incubator. Nevertheless, most ecological and evolutionary theories were developed, and continue to be developed, without considering the virosphere. This means these theories need to be to reinterpreted in light of viral knowledge or we need to develop new theory from the viral point-of-view. Here we briefly introduce our viral planet and then address a major outstanding question in biology: why is most of life viral? A key insight is that during an infection cycle the original virus is completely broken down and only the associated information is passed on to the next generation. This is different for cellular organisms, which must pass on some physical part of themselves from generation to generation. Based on this premise, it is proposed that the thermodynamic consequences of physical information (e.g., Landauer's principle) are observed in natural viral populations. This link between physical and genetic information is then used to develop the Viral Information Hypothesis, which states that genetic information replicates itself to the detriment of system energy efficiency (i.e., is viral in nature). Finally, we show how viral information can be tested, and illustrate how this novel view can explain existing ecological and evolutionary theories from more fundamental principles.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus