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High abundances of cyanomyoviruses in marine ecosystems demonstrate ecological relevance
FEMS Microbiology Ecology (2013)
  • Audrey R Matteson, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
  • Janet M Rowe, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
  • Alise J Ponsero, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
  • Tiana M Pimentel, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
  • Philip W Boyd
  • Steven W Wilhelm, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

The distribution of cyanomyoviruses was estimated using a quantitative PCR (qPCR) approach that targeted the g20 gene as a proxy for phage. Samples were collected spatially during a > 3000 km transect through the Sargasso Sea and temporally during a gyre-constrained phytoplankton bloom within the southern Pacific Ocean. Cyanomyovirus abundances were lower in the Sargasso Sea than in the southern Pacific Ocean, ranging from 2.75 × 10^3 to 5.15 × 10^4 mL−1 and correlating with the abundance of their potential hosts (Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus). Cyanomyovirus abundance in the southern Pacific Ocean (east of New Zealand) followed Synechococcus host populations in the system: this included a decrease in g20 gene copies (4.3 × 10^5 to 9.6 × 10^3 mL−1) following the demise of a Synechococcus bloom. When compared with direct counts of viruses, observations suggest that the cyanomyoviruses comprised 0.5 to >25% of the total virus community. We estimated daily lysis rates of 0.2–46% of the standing stock of Synechococcus in the Pacific Ocean compared with c. < 1.0% in the Sargasso Sea. In total, our observations confirm this family of viruses is abundant in marine systems and that they are an important source of cyanobacterial mortality.

  • cyanophage,
  • qPCR,
  • viruses,
  • marine,
  • ocean,
  • cyanobacteria
Publication Date
Citation Information
Audrey R Matteson, Janet M Rowe, Alise J Ponsero, Tiana M Pimentel, et al.. "High abundances of cyanomyoviruses in marine ecosystems demonstrate ecological relevance" FEMS Microbiology Ecology Vol. 84 (2013)
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