Distribution of marine viruses and their potential hosts in Prydz Bay and adjacent Southern Ocean, Antarctic
Liang, Y and Bai, X and Jiang, Y and Wang, M and He, J and McMinn, A, Distribution of marine viruses and their potential hosts in Prydz Bay and adjacent Southern Ocean, Antarctic, Polar Biology, 39, (2) pp. 365-378. ISSN 0722-4060 (2016) [Refereed Article]
Viruses play a key role in all marine ecosystems, and yet little is known of their distribution in Antarctic waters, especially in bathypelagic waters (>1000 m). In this study, the abundance and distribution of viruses and their potential hosts from the surface to the bottom of Prydz Bay, Antarctic, was investigated using flow cytometry. Viruses and autotrophs were abundant in nearshore and continental shelf waters, while heterotrophic bacteria and picoeukaryotes were abundant in offshore waters. Virus and bacteria abundances generally decreased with increasing depth but increased slightly just above the seafloor. Within the water column, maximum virus numbers coincided with the maximum values of chlorophyll a (when greater than 0.1 μg l−1), in the surface and subsurface (25 m). In the open ocean, however, virus abundance usually correlated with bacterial abundance at greater depths (50, 300 and 500 m) where the surface chlorophyll a concentration was lower than 0.1 μg l−1. Viral abundance was correlated with the host cell abundance, and this was different in different pelagic zones (bacteria and autotrophs (i.e., chlorophyll a concentration) in the epipelagic waters, picoeukaryotes and bacteria in mesopelagic waters and bacteria in bathypelagic waters). Principle component analysis and Pearson correlation analysis indicated that there was a close relationship between virus abundance and chlorophyll a, bacteria and nutrients (NO2 + NO3, phosphate and silicate), and picoeukaryote abundance was mainly correlated with water depth and salinity.