Virus-like Particles Suppress Growth of the Red-Tide-Forming Marine Dinoflagellate Gymnodinium mikimotoi
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We isolated 2 virus-like agents that suppressed growth of Gymnodinium mikimotoi from coastal waters of the Uwa Sea, Japan. The agents found in the flagellate cells, named GM6 and GM7, were filterable in a 0.22-lm-pore filter with approximately 100-nm shapes. Electron microscopic observation showed the presence of virus-like particles in severely damaged G. mikimotoi cells infected by GM6. The growth-suppression activity of the agents (GM6 or GM7) was lost by heating at 50°C, with treatments of DNase and protease, and filtration through a 0.05-lm filter. Our results suggest that the agents are DNA viruses infectious to and virulent for G. mikimotoi. This is the first report of a virus-like agent specific to G. mikimotoi.
KeywordsGymnodinium mikimotoi virus red tide
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