Algal viruses hitchhiking on zooplankton across phytoplankton blooms

Miguel J. Frada, Assaf Vardi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Viruses infecting marine phytoplankton are key biogeochemical ‘engines’ of the oceans, regulating the dynamics of algal populations and the fate of their extensive blooms. In addition they are important ecological and evolutionary drivers of microbial diversification. Yet, little is known about mechanisms influencing viral dispersal in aquatic systems, enabling the rapid infection and demise of vast phytoplankton blooms. In a recent study we showed that migrating zooplankton as copepods that graze on marine phytoplankton can act as transmission vectors for algal viruses. We demonstrated that these grazers can concentrate virions through topical adsorption and by ingesting infected cells and then releasing back to the medium, via detachment or defecation, high viral titers that readily infect host populations. We proposed that this zooplankton-driven process can potentially boost viral dispersal over wide oceanic scales and enhance bloom termination. Here, we highlight key results and further discuss the ecological and evolutionary consequences of our findings.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalCommunicative and Integrative Biology
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • Coccolithophore
  • Emiliania huxleyi
  • Marine viruses
  • Phytoplankton blooms
  • Transmission vectors
  • Zooplankton

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Algal viruses hitchhiking on zooplankton across phytoplankton blooms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this