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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Impact of virioplankton on archaeal and bacterial community richness as assessed in seawater batch cultures.

During cruises in the tropical Atlantic Ocean (January to February 2000) and the southern North Sea (December 2000), experiments were conducted to monitor the impact of virioplankton on archaeal and bacterial community richness. Prokaryotic cells equivalent to 10 to 100% of the in situ abundance were inoculated into virus-free seawater, and viruses equivalent to 35 to 360% of the in situ abundance were added. Batch cultures with microwave-inactivated viruses and without viruses served as controls. The apparent richness of archaeal and bacterial communities was determined by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments. Although the estimated richness of the prokaryotic communities generally was greatly reduced within the first 24 h of incubation due to confinement, the effects of virus amendment were detected at the level of individual operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in the T-RFLP patterns of both groups, Archaea and BACTERIA: One group of OTUs was detected in the control samples but was absent from the virus-treated samples. This negative response of OTUs to virus amendment probably was caused by viral lysis. Additionally, we found OTUs not responding to the amendments, and several OTUs exhibited variable responses to the addition of inactive or active viruses. Therefore, we conclude that individual members of pelagic archaeal and bacterial communities can be differently affected by the presence of virioplankton.[1]


  1. Impact of virioplankton on archaeal and bacterial community richness as assessed in seawater batch cultures. Winter, C., Smit, A., Herndl, G.J., Weinbauer, M.G. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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