World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 29, Issue 10, pp 1751-1762

First online:

Impact of external forces on cyanophage–host interactions in aquatic ecosystems

  • Sabah A. A. JassimAffiliated withApplied Bio Research Inc. Email author 
  • , Richard G. LimogesAffiliated withApplied Bio Research Inc.

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Cyanobacterial (algal) blooms have by convention been attributed to the excessive level of nutrients from pollution and runoff, which promotes the rapid growth and multiplication of cyanobacteria or algae. The cyanophage (virus) is the natural predator of cyanobacteria (the host). The aim of this review is to unveil certain pressures that disrupt cyanophage–host interactions and the formation of cyanobacterial blooms. This review focuses principally on the impact of greenhouse gases, ozone depletion, solar ultraviolet radiation (SUR) and the role of recently discovered virophages, which coexist with and in turn are the natural predator of phages. The key findings are that the increase in SUR, the mutation of cyanophages and cyanobacteria, along with changing nutrient levels, have combined with virophages to impede cyanophage–host interactions and the resultant viral infection and killing of the cyanobacterial cell, which is a necessary step in controlling cyanobacterial blooms. Consider this a ‘call to action’ for researchers interested in corrective action aimed at evolving aquatic ecosystems.


Aquatic ecosystems Bacteriophage Cyanobacteria Cyanophage Greenhouse gases Harmful algae blooms Ozone UV Virophage