Major viral impact on the functioning of benthic deep-sea ecosystems

  title={Major viral impact on the functioning of benthic deep-sea ecosystems},
  author={Roberto Danovaro and Antonio Dell'Anno and Cinzia Corinaldesi and Mirko Magagnini and Rachel T. Noble and Christian Tamburini and Markus G. Weinbauer},
Viruses are the most abundant biological organisms of the world’s oceans. Viral infections are a substantial source of mortality in a range of organisms—including autotrophic and heterotrophic plankton—but their impact on the deep ocean and benthic biosphere is completely unknown. Here we report that viral production in deep-sea benthic ecosystems worldwide is extremely high, and that viral infections are responsible for the abatement of 80% of prokaryotic heterotrophic production. Virus… 

Virus decomposition provides an important contribution to benthic deep-sea ecosystem functioning

It is shown that, given the huge viral biomass of the ocean seafloor and the high rates of this process, virus decomposition provides a major source of labile organic compounds able to sustain the microbial food webs and nutrient cycling at a global scale.

Viral control of biomass and diversity of bacterioplankton in the deep sea

It is demonstrated that reduced viral pressure decreases the diversity of deep-sea bacterioplankton in the western Pacific Ocean, and network analysis showed that relieving viral pressure decreased the complexity and clustering coefficients but increased the proportion of positive correlations for the potentially active bacterial community, which suggests that viruses sustain a diverse microbial community in deep- sea environments.

Virus-mediated archaeal hecatomb in the deep seafloor

Interactions between archaea and their viruses might play a profound, previously underestimated role in the functioning of deep-sea ecosystems and in global biogeochemical cycles.

From virus isolation to metagenome generation for investigating viral diversity in deep-sea sediments

This work compared a physical-chemical procedure and a previously published sediment washing-based procedure for isolating viruses from benthic deep-sea ecosystems to generate viromes through high-throughput sequencing, and reveals thatDeep-sea sediments are a hot spot of novel viral genotypes and functions.

Genomes of Abundant and Widespread Viruses from the Deep Ocean

The first complete genomes of deep-sea viruses assembled from metagenomic fosmid libraries are described, indicating that lysogeny is the preferred mode of existence for deep-SEA viruses inhabiting an energy-limited environment, in sharp contrast to the predominantly lytic lifestyle of their photic-zone counterparts.

Active and diverse viruses persist in the deep sub-seafloor sediments over thousands of years

The results show that the Baltic Sea sub-seafloor biosphere harbors highly abundant viruses with densities up to 1.8 × 1010 viruses cm−3, and indicate that viruses of phototrophic hosts may persist in marine sediments for thousands of years.

New perspectives in benthic deep-sea microbial ecology

Estimating the diversity of deep-sea benthic microbes and understanding their functions are some of the challenges of absolute priority, not only forDeep-sea microbial ecology, but also for the entire research field of life sciences.

Viruses in the deep biosphere: A review

Analysis of prophage sequences deduced from prokaryotic genomes imply that lysogenic infection should be an important life strategy for viruses, making them more adaptable to the dynamic, and often extreme, deep biosphere environment.

Viral infections stimulate the metabolism and shape prokaryotic assemblages in submarine mud volcanoes

The findings highlight the significant role of the viral shunt in sustaining the metabolism of prokaryotes and shaping their assemblage structure in mud volcano sediments, and they provide new clues for the understanding of the functioning of cold-seep ecosystems.

High virus-to-cell ratios indicate ongoing production of viruses in deep subsurface sediments

Even in the oldest sediments, microbial communities are capable of maintaining viral populations, indicating an ongoing viral production and thus, viruses provide an independent indicator for microbial life in the marine deep biosphere.



Virus production and life strategies in aquatic sediments

The results suggest that high benthic virus production rates can have a significant effect on bentho-benthic bacterial dynamics and indicate that virus production should be included in biogeochemical models of aquatic sediments.

Marine viruses — major players in the global ecosystem

  • C. Suttle
  • Environmental Science
    Nature Reviews Microbiology
  • 2007
Viruses are by far the most abundant 'lifeforms' in the oceans and are the reservoir of most of the genetic diversity in the sea, thereby driving the evolution of both host and viral assemblages.

Viral mortality of marine bacteria and cyanobacteria

High viral abundance in the ocean but also counts of bacteria and cyanobacteria in the final irreversible stage of lytic infection demonstrate the existence of a significant new pathway of carbon and nitrogen cycling in marine food webs and have further implications for gene transfer between marine organisms.

Infection of phytoplankton by viruses and reduction of primary productivity

It is demonstrated that viral pathogens infect a variety of important marine primary producers, including diatoms, cryptophytes, prasinophytes and chroococcoid cyanobacteria, indicating that infection by viruses could be a factor regulating phytoplankton community structure and primary productivity in the oceans.

Virioplankton: Viruses in Aquatic Ecosystems

Novel applications of molecular genetic techniques have provided good evidence that viral infection can significantly influence the composition and diversity of aquatic microbial communities, supporting the hypothesis that viruses play a significant role in microbial food webs.

Viriobenthos in freshwater and marine sediments : a review

First results from a few studies using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and especially from metagenomic analyses indicate, however, that viriobenthic assemblages are both highly diverse and distinct from the virioplankton.

Viral infection plays a key role in extracellular DNA dynamics in marine anoxic systems

Overall, the data suggest that DNA released by viral lysis, because of its high lability and fast turnover, may represent an important mechanism of trophic supply for prokaryotes, particularly in systems characterized by limited availability of external Trophic sources.

Distribution of Viruses and Dissolved DNA along a Coastal Trophic Gradient in the Northern Adriatic Sea

The distribution of viral and other microbial abundances as well as the concentrations of dissolved DNA along a trophic gradient in the northern Adriatic Sea were determined and some kind of interaction between heterotrophic nanoflagellates and viruses is proposed, concluding that viral activity may play a significant role in food web structure under changing trophIC conditions.

Ecology of prokaryotic viruses.

  • M. Weinbauer
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    FEMS microbiology reviews
  • 2004

Lysogeny and virus‐induced mortality of bacterioplankton in surface, deep, and anoxic marine waters

Across all investigated environments, FLC was negatively related to bacterial abundance and production, whereas FIC showed a positive relationship with viral and bacterial parameters, indicating that environments exist where one of the two viral life strategies prevails.