Advertisement

Microbial Ecology

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 237–243 | Cite as

The significance of viruses to mortality in aquatic microbial communities

  • C. A. Suttle
Controls of the Microbial Loop: Biotic Factors

Abstract

A variety of approaches including enumeration of visibly infected microbes, removal of viral particles, decay of viral infectivity, and measurements of viral production rates have been used to infer the impact of viruses on microbial mortality. The results are surprisingly consistent and suggest that, on average, about 20% of marine heterotrophic bacteria are infected by viruses and 10–20% of the bacterial community is lysed daily by viruses. The effect of viruses on phytoplankton is less certain, but ca. 3% of Synechococcus biomass may be lysed daily. The fraction of primary productivity this represents depends upon the relative biomass and growth rate of Synechococcus. Virus enrichment experiments suggest that the productivity of eukaryotic phytoplankton would be ca. 2% higher in the absence of viruses. Overall, probably about 2–3% of primary productivity is lost to viral lysis. There is considerable variation about these estimates; however, they represent a starting point for incorporating viral-mediated processes into aquatic ecosystem models.

Keywords

Biomass Phytoplankton Microbial Community Bacterial Community Synechococcus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Berry SA, Noton BG (1976) Survival of bacteriophages in seawater. Water Res 10:323–327Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bitton G, Mitchell R (1974) Effect of colloids on the survival of bacteriophages in seawater. Water Res 8:227–229Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bratkbak G, Heldal M, Thingstad TF, Riemann B, Haslund OH (1992) Incorporation of viruses into the budget of microbial C-transfer. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 83:273–280Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cottrell MT, Suttle CA (1991) Wide-spread occurrence and clonal variation in viruses which cause lysis of a cosmopolitan, eukaryotic marine phytoplankter, Micromonas pusilla. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 78:1–9Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Fuhrman JA, Suttle CA (1993) Viruses in marine planktonic systems. Oceanography 6:50–62Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gerba CP, Schaiberger GE (1975) Effects of particulates on virus survival in seawater. J Water Pollut Control Fed 47:93–103Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Heldal M, Bratbak G (1991) Production and decay of viruses in aquatic environments. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 72:205–212Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Moebus K (1992) Laboratory investigations on the survival of marine bacteriophages in raw and treated seawater. Helgoländer Meeresunters 46:251–273Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Murray AG, Jackson GA (1992) Viral dynamics: a model of the effects of size, shape, motion, and abundance of single-celled planktonic organisms and other particles. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 89:103–116Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Proctor LM, Fuhrman JA (1990) Viral mortality of marine bacteria and cyanobacteria. Nature (Lond) 343:60–62Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Proctor LM, Okubo A, Fuhrman JA (1993) Calibrating estimates of phage-induced mortality in marine bacteria: ultrastructural studies of marine bacteriophage development from one-step growth experiments. Microb Ecol 25:161–182Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Steward GF, Wikner J, Smith DC, Cochlan WP, Azam F (1993) Measurement of virus production in the sea: I. Method development. Mar Microb Foodwebs 6:57–78Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Steward GF, Wikner J, Cochlan WP, Smith DC, Azam F (1993) Measurement of virus production in the sea. II. Field results. Mar Microb Foodwebs 6:79–90Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Suttle CA (1992) Inhibition of photosynthesis in phytoplankton by the submicron size fraction concentrated from seawater. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 87:105–112Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Suttle CA, Chan AM (1993) Marine cyanophages infecting oceanic and coastal strains of Synechococcus: abundance, morphology, cross-infectivity and growth characteristics. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 92:99–109Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Suttle, CA, Chen F (1992) Mechanisms and rates of decay of marine viruses in seawater. Appl Environ Microbiol 58:3721–3729Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Suttle CA, Chan AM, Cottrell MT (1990) Infection of phytoplankton by viruses and reduction of primary productivity. Nature (Lond) 347:467–469Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Waterbury JB, Valois FW (1993) Resistance to cooccurring phages enables marine Synechococcus communities to coexist with cyanophages abundant in seawater. Appl Environ Microbiol 59:3393–3399Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Zachary A (1976) Physiology and ecology of bacteriophages of the marine bacterium Beneckea natriegens: salinity. Appl Environ Microbiol 31:415–422Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. A. Suttle
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Science InstituteThe University of Texas at AustinPort AransasUSA

Personalised recommendations