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High abundances of cyanomyoviruses in marine ecosystems demonstrate ecological relevance


Matteson, AR and Rowe, JM and Ponsero, AJ and Pimentel, TM and Boyd, PW and Wilhelm, SW, High abundances of cyanomyoviruses in marine ecosystems demonstrate ecological relevance, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 84, (2) pp. 223-234. ISSN 0168-6496 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Elsevier

DOI: doi:10.1111/1574-6941.12060


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 2.75 103 to 5.15 104 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 (from 4.3 105 to 9.6 103 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 0.246% 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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:marine, Synechococcus, Prochlorococcus, cyanophage, viruses
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem)
UTAS Author:Boyd, PW (Professor Philip Boyd)
ID Code:95539
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:25
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-10-03
Last Modified:2017-11-01

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