, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 1119–1132 | Cite as

Halophilic viruses with varying biochemical and biophysical properties are amenable to purification with asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation

  • Katri Eskelin
  • Mirka Lampi
  • Florian Meier
  • Evelin Moldenhauer
  • Dennis H. Bamford
  • Hanna M. Oksanen
Method Paper


Viruses come in various shapes and sizes, and a number of viruses originate from extremities, e.g. high salinity or elevated temperature. One challenge for studying extreme viruses is to find efficient purification conditions where viruses maintain their infectivity. Asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation (AF4) is a gentle native chromatography-like technique for size-based separation. It does not have solid stationary phase and the mobile phase composition is readily adjustable according to the sample needs. Due to the high separation power of specimens up to 50 µm, AF4 is suitable for virus purification. Here, we applied AF4 for extremophilic viruses representing four morphotypes: lemon-shaped, tailed and tailless icosahedral, as well as pleomorphic enveloped. AF4 was applied to input samples of different purity: crude supernatants of infected cultures, polyethylene glycol-precipitated viruses and viruses purified by ultracentrifugation. All four virus morphotypes were successfully purified by AF4. AF4 purification of culture supernatants or polyethylene glycol-precipitated viruses yielded high recoveries, and the purities were comparable to those obtained by the multistep ultracentrifugation purification methods. In addition, we also demonstrate that AF4 is a rapid monitoring tool for virus production in slowly growing host cells living in extreme conditions.


Asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation Virus purification Archaeal virus Macromolecular complex High ionic strength Halophilic virus 



Asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation


Geometric diameter


Haloarcula californiae icosahedral virus 1


His1 virus


Hours post-infection


Halorubrum pleomorphic virus 1


Haloarcula vallismortis tailed virus 1


Multi-angle light scattering


Modified growth medium


Multiplicity of infection


Molecular weight cut-off


Polyethylene glycol


Plaque forming units


Regenerated cellulose


Radius of gyration


Salt water


Transmission electron microscopy


Virus-like particle



The authors acknowledge the University of Helsinki and Academy of Finland (Grant 306833) for support provided to Centre for Virus and Macromolecular Complex Production (ICVIR, University of Helsinki), part of Instruct-FI, used in this study. This study was supported by Academy Professor (Academy of Finland) funding Grants 283072 and 255342 (D.H.B.). We also acknowledge Academy of Finland Grant 272507. The authors thank Päivi Suorsa, Helin Veskiväli and Sari Korhonen for excellent technical assistance, and Salla Välipakka for assistance in the His1 work.

Supplementary material

792_2017_963_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (199 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 199 kb)
792_2017_963_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (1 mb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 1025 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katri Eskelin
    • 1
  • Mirka Lampi
    • 1
  • Florian Meier
    • 2
  • Evelin Moldenhauer
    • 2
  • Dennis H. Bamford
    • 1
  • Hanna M. Oksanen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiosciencesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Postnova AnalyticsLandsbergGermany

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