Viral Control of Phytoplankton Populations—a Review1

  title={Viral Control of Phytoplankton Populations—a Review1},
  author={Corina P. D. Brussaard},
  booktitle={The Journal of eukaryotic microbiology},
  • C. Brussaard
  • Published in
    The Journal of eukaryotic…
    1 March 2004
  • Environmental Science
Abstract Phytoplankton population dynamics are the result of imbalances between reproduction and losses. Losses include grazing, sinking, and natural mortality. As the importance of microbes in aquatic ecology has been recognized, so has the potential significance of viruses as mortality agents for phytoplankton. The field of algal virus ecology is steadily changing and advancing as new viruses are isolated and new methods are developed for quantifying the impact of viruses on phytoplankton… 
Warming advances virus population dynamics in a temperate freshwater plankton community
Although warming may not necessarily result in a stronger viral control of bacterial and phytoplankton communities, the results suggest it can alter host population dynamics through advanced timing of infections, and thus timing of carbon and nutrient recycling.
The ecology of viruses that infect eukaryotic algae.
  • S. Short
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    Environmental microbiology
  • 2012
Gaps in knowledge of virus seasonality and persistence are beginning to close and investigations of environmental reservoirs and virus resilience may answer questions about virus inter-annual recurrences.
Parasites and Phytoplankton, with Special Emphasis on Dinoflagellate Infections1
Parasitism needs to be carefully considered in developing concepts about plankton dynamics and the flow of material in marine food webs, as work indicates that these parasites can have significant impacts on host physiology, behavior, and bloom dynamics.
Potential viral stimulation of primary production observed during experimental determinations of phytoplankton mortality
The results reinforce the notion that individual phytoplankton taxa can have dynamic roles in aquatic food webs and suggest that viruses can potentially stimulate primary production, counteracting grazing mortality to the point of tipping a phy Topolankton population’s status from decline to growth.
The Dynamics, Distribution, and Activity of Viruses in Lake Erie
New information from samples collected in July 2003 is presented which demonstrates that bacteria lysed by viruses released 122 1080 nM of phosphorus per day throughout Lake Erie, implying that viruses acted as a major mechanism of phosphorus recycling in the lake.
Ecological Role of Viruses in Aquatic Ecosystems
Methodological advances, such as metagenomics and genomics, have greatly facilitated studies of marine viruses and resulted in key discoveries on viral diversity, viral–host gene transfer and viral influence on host cell physiology.
Estimates of bacterial and phytoplankton mortality caused by viral lysis and microzooplankton grazing in a shallow eutrophic lake
The dilution technique can give valuable insight into the impact of zooplankton grazing and viral lysis on the mortality of different plankton groups but require some caveats require special care to be taken when comparing and interpreting results.
Seasonal Dynamics of Haptophytes and dsDNA Algal Viruses Suggest Complex Virus-Host Relationship
Haptophyte and virus community composition and diversity varied substantially throughout the year, but in an uncoordinated manner, and a minority of the viral OTUs were highly abundant at specific time-points, indicating a boom-bust relationship with their host.
Frequency of virus-resistant hosts determines experimental community dynamics.
It is found that the frequency of the phage-resistant Nodularia genotype determined experimental community dynamics, showing that even though phages represent minuscule biomass, they can have key effects on community composition and eco-evolutionary feedbacks in plankton communities.
Viruses of Microorganisms
Algae are photosynthetic organisms that drive aquatic ecosystems, e.g. fuelling food webs or forming harmful blooms. The discovery of viruses that infect eukaryotic algae has raised many questions


Viral lysis of marine bacterioplankton: Implications for organic matter cycling and bacterial clonal composition
In this minireview, ideas emerging from the most recent literature concerning virus-bacteria dynamics in marine plankton are synthesized, illustrating that lytic infection of a specific host is one of many viral effects on the bacterial community.
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.
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.
Viral Impacts on Total Abundance and Clonal Composition of the Harmful Bloom-Forming PhytoplanktonHeterosigma akashiwo
The data indicate that viral infection influences the total abundance and the clonal composition of one host algal species, suggesting that viruses are an important component in quantitatively and qualitatively controlling phytoplankton populations in natural marine environments.
Population Dynamics of Chesapeake Bay Virioplankton: Total-Community Analysis by Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis
It is concluded that, based on the dynamic nature of the Chesapeake Bay virioplankton community structure, the clonal diversity of bacterio- and phytoplankon host communities is an important component of the virus community.
Stable coexistence in marine algal host-virus systems
It is hypothesized that phenotypic plasticity of algal susceptibility to viral infection makes coexistence of host and virus possible and that endemic viral infections may promote survival of the host population.
Viral mortality of the marine alga Emiliania huxleyi (Haptophyceae) and termination of algal blooms
The results suggest that viral mortality of phytoplankton may be an important factor regulating community structure, diversity and biomass production in marine environments.
Phytoplankton, Zooplankton and Bacteria: Standing Crop and Production Relationships in a Eutrophic Lake
Calculation of phytoplankton growth rate constants, grazing losses, and other losses during the spring Stephanodiscus bloom showed that nongrazing losses (sedimentation, death and decomposition) predominated.
Population dynamics and diversity of phytoplankton, bacteria and viruses in a seawater enclosure
A close linkage between various algal, bacterial and viral populations is indicated and it is shown that virioplankton do not necessarily termi- nate algal and bacterial blooms but that they keep the host populations at non-blooming levels.