Rewiring host lipid metabolism by large viruses determines the fate of Emiliania huxleyi, a bloom-forming alga in the ocean

Shilo Rosenwasser, Michaela A. Mausz, Daniella Schatz, Uri Sheyn, Sergey Malitsky, Asaph Aharoni, Eyal Weinstock, Oren Tzfadia, Shifra Ben-Dor, Ester Feldmesser, Georg Pohnert, Assaf Vardi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations

Abstract

Marine viruses are major ecological and evolutionary drivers of microbial food webs regulating the fate of carbon in the ocean. We combined transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses to explore the cellular pathways mediating the interaction between the bloom-forming coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi and its specific coccolithoviruses (E. huxleyi virus [EhV]). We show that EhV induces profound transcriptome remodeling targeted toward fatty acid synthesis to support viral assembly. A metabolic shift toward production of viral-derived sphingolipids was detected during infection and coincided with downregulation of host de novo sphingolipid genes and induction of the viral-encoded homologous pathway. The depletion of host-specific sterols during lytic infection and their detection in purified virions revealed their novel role in viral life cycle. We identify an essential function of the mevalonate-isoprenoid branch of sterol biosynthesis during infection and propose its downregulation as an antiviral mechanism. We demonstrate how viral replication depends on the hijacking of host lipid metabolism during the chemical "arms race" in the ocean.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2689-2707
Number of pages19
JournalPlant Cell
Volume26
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Rewiring host lipid metabolism by large viruses determines the fate of Emiliania huxleyi, a bloom-forming alga in the ocean'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this