Intragenus competition between coccolithoviruses: an insight on how a select few can come to dominate many

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Nissimov, J. I., Napier, J. A., Allen, M. J. and Kimmance, S. A. 2016. Intragenus competition between coccolithoviruses: an insight on how a select few can come to dominate many. Environmental Microbiology. 18 (1), pp. 133-145.

AuthorsNissimov, J. I., Napier, J. A., Allen, M. J. and Kimmance, S. A.
Abstract

Viruses are a major cause of coccolithophore bloom demise in both temperate and sub-temperate oceanic regions. Most infection studies on coccolithoviruses have been conducted with a single virus strain, and the effect of intragenus competition by closely related coccolithoviruses has been ignored. Here we conducted combined infection experiments, infecting Emiliania huxleyi CCMP 2090 with two coccolithoviruses: EhV-86 and EhV-207 both simultaneously and independently. EhV-207 displayed a shorter lytic cycle and increased production potential than EhV-86 and was remarkably superior under competitive conditions. Although the viruses displayed identical adsorption kinetics in the first 2 h post infection, EhV-207 gained a numerical advantage as early as 8 h post infection. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) revealed that when infecting in combination, EhV-207 was not affected by the presence of EhV-86, whereas EhV-86 was quickly out-competed, and a significant reduction in free and cell-associated EhV-86 was seen as early as 2 days after the initial infection. The observation of such clear phenotypic differences between genetically distinct, yet similar, coccolithovirus strains, by flow cytometry and quantitative real-time PCR allowed tentative links to the burgeoning genomic, transcriptomic and metabolic data to be made and the factors driving their selection, in particular to the de novo coccolithovirus-encoded sphingolipid biosynthesis pathway. This work illustrates that, even within a family, not all viruses are created equally, and the potential exists for relatively small genetic changes to infer disproportionately large competitive advantages for one coccolithovirus over another, ultimately leading to a few viruses dominating the many.

KeywordsMicrobiology
Year of Publication2016
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Journal citation18 (1), pp. 133-145
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/1462-2920.12902
PubMed ID25970076
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderPlymouth Marine Laboratory's Research Program
Natural Environment Research Council
Funder project or codeDesigning Seeds for Nutrition and Health (DS)
*Design Oilseeds (Olga Sayanova)
PublisherWiley
ISSN1462-2912

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