Skip to main content
Log in

High concentrations of viruses in the sediments of Lac Gilbert, Québec

  • Published:
Microbial Ecology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Viruses were found to be very abundant in the top layer of the sediments of Lac Gilbert, Québec. Viruses were extracted from the sediments using pyrophosphate buffer, and viruses from the diluted extracts were pelleted onto grids and enumerated using transmission electron microscopy. Viral abundance in the sediments ranged from 6.5 × 108 to 1.83 × 1010 ml−1, which is 10- to 1,000-fold greater than the number observed in the water column. This increase corresponds well with the 100- to 1,000-fold increase in bacterial abundance in the sediments. Viral abundance differed significantly among the surface sediment samples taken at different bottom depths and among samples taken at different depths of the water column. Viral abundance also varied significantly between the oxic and anoxic zones of the water column and the sediments. The virus-to-bacteria ratio varied greatly among the different sediment sites but not among depths in the water column. Viral abundance in the water column was related to bacterial abundance and chlorophyll concentration, whereas viruses in the sediments were most abundant in sediments with high organic matter content. Elevated viral abundance and their erratic distribution in the sediments suggest that viruses might play an important role in sediment microbial dynamics.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  1. Ackerman HW, Dubow MS (1987) Viruses of prokaryotes, vol. 1. General properties of bacteriophages. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Bird DF, Maranger R, Karl, DM (1993) Palmer LTER: aquatic virus abundances near the Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctic J US 28:234–235

    Google Scholar 

  3. Børsheim KY (1993) Native marine bacteriophages. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 102:141–159

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bratbak G, Heldal M, Norland S, Thingstad TF (1990) Viruses as partners in spring bloom trophodynamics. Appl Environ Microbiol 56:1400–1405

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Capone DG, Kiene RP (1988) Comparison of microbial dynamics in marine and freshwater sediments: contrasts in anaerobic carbon metabolism. Limnol Oceanogr 33:725–749

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Duarte CM, Bird DF, Kalff J (1988) Submerged macrophytes and sediment bacteria in the littoral zone of Lake Memphremagog. Verh Internat Verein Limnol 23:271–281

    Google Scholar 

  7. Fenchel T, Blackburn TH (1979) Bacteria and mineral cycling. Academic Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  8. Fenchel T, Finlay BJ (1990) Anaerobic free-living protozoa: growth efficiencies and the structure of anearobic communities. FEMS Microbial Ecol 74:269–276

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Freifelder D (1987) Microbial genetics. Jones and Bartlett, Boston

    Google Scholar 

  10. Fuhrman JA, Suttle CA (1993) Viruses in marine planktonic systems. Oceanography 6:51–63

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Hammond GW, Hazelton PR, Chuang I, Klisko B (1981) Improved detection of viruses by electron microscopy after direct ultracentrifuge preparation of specimens. J Clin Microbiol 14:210–221

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Heldal M, Bratbak G (1991) Production and decay of viruses in aquatic environments. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 72:205–212

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Jannasch HW Pritchard PH (1972) The role of inert particulate matter in the activity of aquatic microorganisms. Mem Ist Ital Idrobiol 29 (suppl):289–308

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Jiang SC, Paul JH (1994) Seasonal and diel abundance of viruses and occurrence of lysogeny/bacteriocinogeny in the marine environment. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 104:163–172

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Joklik WG, Willet HP, Amos DB (1980) Zinsser microbiology, 17th ed. Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York

    Google Scholar 

  16. Kokjohn TA, Sayler GS, Miller RV (1991) Attachment and replication of Pseudomonas aeurginosa bacteriophages under conditions simulating aquatic environments. J Clin Microbiol 137:661–666

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Lawson KA, Barnet YM, McGilchrist CA (1987) Environmental factors influencing members of Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar trifolii and its bacteriophages in two field soils. Appl Environ Microbiol 53:1125–1131

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Lenski RE (1988) Dynamics of interactions between bacteria and virulent bacteriophage. Adv Microb Ecol 10:1–44

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Maranger R, Bird DF (1995) Viral abundances in aquatic systems: a comparison between marine and fresh waters. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 121:217–226

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Maranger R, Bird DF, Juniper SK (1994) Viral and bacterial dynamics in Arctic sea ice during the spring algal bloom, near Resolute, N.W.T., Canada. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 111:121–127

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Paul JH, Rose JB, Jiang SC, Kellogg CA, Dickson L (1993) Distribution of viral abundance in the reef environment of Key Largo, Florida. Appl Environ Microbiol 59:718–724

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Porter KG, Feig YS (1980) The use of DAPI for identifying and counting aquatic microflora. Limnol Oceanogr 25:943–948

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Proctor LM, Fuhrman JA (1990) Viral mortality of marine bacteria and cyanobacteria. Nature 343:60–62

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Proctor LM, Fuhrman JA (1991) Roles of viruses in organic particle flux. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 69:133–142

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Proctor LM, Fuhrman JA (1992) Mortality of marine bacteria in response to enrichments of virus size fraction from seawater. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 87:283–293

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Roper MM, Marshall KC (1974) Modification of the interaction between Escherichia coli and bacteriophage in saline sediment. Microbiol Ecol 1:1–13

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. Sander BC, Kalff J (1993) Factors controlling bacterial production in marine and freshwater sediments. Microb Ecol 26:79–99

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. SAS Institute Inc (1987) SAS/STAT guide for personal computers, Version 6 ed. SAS Institute Inc, Cary, North Carolina

    Google Scholar 

  29. Schallenberg M, Kalff J (1993) The ecology of sediment bacteria in lakes and comparisons with other aquatic ecosystems. Ecology 74:919–934

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Suttle CA (1992) Inhibition of photosynthesis in phytoplankton by the submicron size fraction concentrated from seawater. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 87:105–112

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Suttle CA, Chan AM, Cottrell MT (1990) Infection of phytoplankton by viruses and reduction of primary productivity. Nature 347:467–469

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Suttle CA, Chan AM (1993) Marine cyanophages infecting oceanic and coasteal strains of Synechococcus: abundance, morphology, cross-infectivity and growth characteristics. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 92:99–109

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Suttle CA, Chen F (1992) Mechanisms and rates of decay of marine viruses in seawater. Appl Environ Microbiol 58:3721–3729

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  34. Velji MI, Albright LJ (1986) Microscopic enumeration of attached marine bacteria of seawater, marine sediment, fecal matter, and kelp blade samples following pyrophosphate and ultrasound treatments. Can J Microbiol 32:121–126

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Watson JD, Hopkins NH, Roberts JW Steitz JA, Weiner A (1987) Molecular biology of the gene, 4th ed. Benjamin/Cununins, Menlo Park, California

    Google Scholar 

  36. Wetzel RG, Likens GE (1991) Limnological analyses, 2nd ed. Springer-Verlag, New York

    Book  Google Scholar 

  37. Wommack KE, Hill RT, Kessel M, Russek-Cohen E, Colwell RR (1992) Distribution of viruses in the Chesapeake Bay. Appl Environ Microbiol 31:415–422

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

Correspondence to: Roxane Maranger

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Maranger, R., Bird, D.F. High concentrations of viruses in the sediments of Lac Gilbert, Québec. Microb Ecol 31, 141–151 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00167860

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00167860

Keywords

Navigation