, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 657-660

Transmission electron microscope analysis of virus-like particles in the freshwater lakes of Signy Island, Antarctica

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Water samples from a range of fresh-water Antarctic lakes on Signy Island (South Orkney Islands: 60°45′S, 45 °38′W) were examined for the presence of virus-like particles (VLPs) during the 1998/1999 field season. It was discovered that VLPs were ubiquitous, morphologically diverse and abundant, with high concentrations ranging from 4.9 × 106 ml−1 to 3.1 × 107 ml−1. Likely hosts include bacteria, cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae. In addition, an unusually large virus morphotype was observed with a head diameter 370 × 330 nm and a tail 1.3 μm long.

Accepted: 15 May 2000