The most abundant bacteria on record are also the hosts of the most abundant viruses, a result found by researchers from the Oregon State University and the University of Arizona. This shows that SAR11, the bacteria, is adapted to resource competition.
Using old-fashioned techniques and growing the bacteria in the laboratory, the joint effort was able to discover previously missed viruses. An alternative theory to SAR11 being evolved to adapt was that it was immune to viral infection, which has been disproven.
The viruses are constantly killing off SAR11, but thankfully the study shows that it isn’t going anywhere soon. The vast number of the bacteria plays a vital role in the carbon cycle by recycling organic material, providing nutrients for oxygen-producing algae.