In plaque-mass spectrometry imaging of a bloom-forming alga during viral infection reveals a metabolic shift towards odd-chain fatty acid lipids

Guy Schleyer, Nir Shahaf, Carmit Ziv, Yonghui Dong, Roy A. Meoded, Eric J.N. Helfrich, Daniella Schatz, Shilo Rosenwasser, Ilana Rogachev, Asaph Aharoni, Jörn Piel, Assaf Vardi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tapping into the metabolic crosstalk between a host and its virus can reveal unique strategies employed during infection. Viral infection is a dynamic process that generates an evolving metabolic landscape. Gaining a continuous view into the infection process is highly challenging and is limited by current metabolomics approaches, which typically measure the average of the entire population at various stages of infection. Here, we took an innovative approach to study the metabolic basis of host–virus interactions between the bloom-forming alga Emiliania huxleyi and its specific virus. We combined a classical method in virology, the plaque assay, with advanced mass spectrometry imaging (MSI), an approach we termed ‘in plaque-MSI’. Taking advantage of the spatial characteristics of the plaque, we mapped the metabolic landscape induced during infection in a high spatiotemporal resolution, unfolding the infection process in a continuous manner. Further unsupervised spatially aware clustering, combined with known lipid biomarkers, revealed a systematic metabolic shift during infection towards lipids containing the odd-chain fatty acid pentadecanoic acid (C15:0). Applying ‘in plaque-MSI’ may facilitate the discovery of bioactive compounds that mediate the chemical arms race of host–virus interactions in diverse model systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)527-538
Number of pages12
JournalNature Microbiology
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

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