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Saline lakes on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau harbor unique viral assemblages mediating microbial environmental adaption


Gu, C and Liang, Y and Li, J and Shao, H and Jiang, Y and Zhou, X and Gao, C and Li, X and Zhang, W and Guo, C and He, H and Wang, H and Sung, YY and Mok, WJ and Wong, LL and Suttle, CA and McMinn, A and Tian, J and Wang, M, Saline lakes on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau harbor unique viral assemblages mediating microbial environmental adaption, iScience, 24, (12) Article 103439. ISSN 2589-0042 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2021 The Authors. This is an open access article under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license (

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.isci.2021.103439


The highest plateau on Earth, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, contains thousands of lakes with broad salinity and diverse and unique microbial communities. However, little is known about their co-occurring viruses. Herein, we identify 4,560 viral Operational Taxonomic Units (vOTUs) from six viromes of three saline lakes on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, with less than 1% that could be classified. Most of the predicted vOTUs were associated with the dominant bacterial and archaeal phyla. Virus-encoded auxiliary metabolic genes suggest that viruses influence microbial metabolisms of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and lipid; the antibiotic resistance mediation; and their salinity adaption. The six viromes clustered together with the ice core viromes and bathypelagic ocean viromes and might represent a new viral habitat. This study has revealed the unique characteristics and potential ecological roles of DNA viromes in the lakes of the highest plateau and established a foundation for the recognition of the viral roles in plateau lake ecosystems.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:virus, Qinghai, Tibet, lakes
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Microbiology
Research Field:Virology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:McMinn, A (Professor Andrew McMinn)
ID Code:147999
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2021-11-29
Last Modified:2021-12-08
Downloads:11 View Download Statistics

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