ASSEMBLE & the biggest virus ever found
Jean-Michel Claverie and his team recently published the discovery of the biggest virus ever found, sampled at ECIM (Las Cruces, Chile) during a stay funded by ASSEMBLE.
This Megavirus chilensis not only has a giant size (0.7um and is visible under a simple light microscope) but also a genome of 1,120 genes, which is more than many bacteria, and econding for trademark cellular functions. This peculiar discovery, which provides important new insights on the evolution of viruses and early eucaryotes, was acheived after the visit to ECIM (Las Cruces, Chile) where the virus was sampled, under the framework of ASSMBLE.
More details at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megavirus.
Publication at http://www.pnas.org/content/108/42/17.
Picture credits: C. Abergel, IGS-CNRS