Taxonomy (Types of Microbes)

Bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) kill approximately 20% of the oceanic microbial biomass daily, which has a significant impact on nutrient and energy cycles. For example, lysis results in host mortality, impacting metabolic functions performed by lysed host populations, and it contributes to nutrient cycling by releasing host cellular contents into the environment. Interestingly, such data sets have demonstrated unknown bottlenecks that
restrict microbial nitrogen and phosphorus cycling to bioavailable forms for crop plants, particularly for modern high-productivity maize varieties ().

Low nutrient turnover and inadequate release of nutrients from organic pools have become particular problems in cover-cropped systems, in which
soil nitrogen tends to be immobilized (), and viral lysis could conceivably play a key role in the liberation of nutrients tied up in microbial biomass.( Research indicates that similar processes are occurring in the soil at similar rates, meaning viruses are an underappreciated player in the cycling of nutrients. (