Rohwer F, Thurber RV.. Viruses manipulate the marine environment. Nature 459: 207-212

Department of Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego, California 92182, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 41.46). 06/2009; 459(7244):207-12. DOI: 10.1038/nature08060
Source: PubMed


Marine viruses affect Bacteria, Archaea and eukaryotic organisms and are major components of the marine food web. Most studies have focused on their role as predators and parasites, but many of the interactions between marine viruses and their hosts are much more complicated. A series of recent studies has shown that viruses have the ability to manipulate the life histories and evolution of their hosts in remarkable ways, challenging our understanding of this almost invisible world.

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Available from: Rebecca Vega Thurber, Jul 11, 2014
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    • "The former results in the host lysis, while the latter is a stable infection where the viral DNA is integrated into the host genome with no damage to the host cell, until environmental factors induce the lytic pathway (Suttle, 2000). Lysogeny is responsible for the well-known lateral gene transfer within bacterial populations (Suttle, 2005; Rohwer and Thurber, 2009; Lang et al., 2012). Until recently, all known cyanophages infecting filamentous or colonial cyanobacteria belonged to one of the three tailed bacteriophage families: Podoviridae, Siphoviridae, (Fig. 1C) and Myoviridae. "
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    ABSTRACT: In the forthcoming decades, it is widely believed that the dominance of colonial and filamentous bloom-forming cyanobacteria (e.g Microcystis, Planktothrix, Anabaena and Cylindrospermopsis) will increase in freshwater systems as a combined result of anthropogenic nutrient input into freshwater bodies and climate change. Whilst the physico-chemical parameters controlling bloom dynamics are well known, the role of biotic factors remains comparatively poorly studied. Morphology and toxicity often - but not always - limit the availability of cyanobacteria to filter feeding zooplankton (e.g. cladocerans). Filamentous and colonial cyanobacteria are widely regarded as trophic dead-ends mostly inedible for zooplankton, but substantial evidence shows that some grazers (e.g. copepods) can bypass this size constraint by breaking down filaments, making the bloom biomass available to other zooplankton species. A wide range of algicidal bacteria (mostly from the Alcaligenes, Flavobacterium/Cytophaga group and Pseudomonas) and viruses (Podo-, Sipho-, and Myo-viridae) may also contribute to bloom control, via their lytic activity underpinned by a diverse array of mechanisms. Fungal parasitism by the Chytridiomycota remains the least studied. Whilst each of these biotic factors has traditionally been studied in isolation, emerging research consistently point to complex interwoven interactions between biotic and environmental factors. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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    • "Cold-active phages have been isolated from low temperature environments, such as seawater, food, sewage and sea ice (Anesio A M, et al., 2011; Lopez-Bueno A, et al., 2009; Rohwer F, et al., 2009; Sawstrom C, et al., 2008; Sime-Ngando T, et al., 2009). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the isolation and characterization of a B. cereus lytic cold-active phage from water samples from the Mingyong Glacier. "
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    ABSTRACT: As a unique ecological system with low temperature and low nutrient levels, glaciers are considered a "living fossil" for the research of evolution. In this work, a lytic cold-active bacteriophage designated VMY22 against Bacillus cereus MYB41-22 was isolated from Mingyong Glacier in China, and its characteristics were studied. Electron microscopy revealed that VMY22 has an icosahedral head (59.2 nm in length, 31.9 nm in width) and a tail (43.2 nm in length). Bacteriophage VMY22 was classified as a Podoviridae with an approximate genome size of 18 to 20 kb. A one-step growth curve revealed that the latent and the burst periods were 70 and 70 min, respectively, with an average burst size of 78 bacteriophage particles per infected cell. The pH and thermal stability of bacteriophage VMY22 were also investigated. The maximum stability of the bacteriophage was observed to be at pH 8.0 and it was comparatively stable at pH 5.0-9.0. As VMY22 is a cold-active bacteriophage with low production temperature, its characterization and the relationship between MYB41-22 and Bacillus cereus bacteriophage deserve further study.
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    • "A relatively unexplored aspect of cold seep ecology is the role of phages in the turnover of nutrients in these sediment ecosystems. Given that viruses can both provide key metabolisms to their host via horizontal gene transfer and critical physiological enhancements through the expression of virally encoded genes (reviewed in Rohwer and Vega Thurber, 2009), the characterization of seep phages may reveal critical aspects of seep organism ecology, evolution and biogeochemistry. To investigate the ecological and biological roles of seep viruses, here we created two viral metagenomic libraries of samples from ERB. "
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