Ocean algae get ‘coup grace’ from virus


The image depicts a viral infection of a Haxlei cell of an amylia that E. in Barratus c. Is based on the image of Haxleigh’s satellite. Credits: MODIS, NASA; Steve Gschmeissner, Photo Researchers Inc .; K. Beadle and Christian Labor, Rutgers University

Scientists have long believed that ocean viruses always kill algae, but Rutgers-led research suggests that they live with algae and that the virus only provides the “coup de grace” when algae flowers Already stressed and dying.


The study, published in the journal Nature communication, Will change the possibility of how scientists view the viral infection of algae, also known as phytoplankton – specifically the effect of viruses on ecosystem processes such as algal bloom formation (and degradation) and carbon on Earth And cycling of other chemicals.

“It is only when infected algal cells become stressed, as when they run out of nutrients, viruses become deadly,” said lead author Benjamin Knowles, formerly in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences at the school – Doctoral Researcher. Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick which is now at UCLA. He was also a post-doctoral fellow at the Rutgers Institute of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. “We think this completely new model of infection is widespread in the oceans and fundamentally changes how we look at host-virus interactions and the effects of viruses on ecosystems and biochemical cycling Because it goes against the long-accepted classic model of the virus. Deadly and killing cells. ”

Biogeochemical cycling refers to essential nutrients through organisms and the environment such as carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, iron and water. Coccolithophore algae Emilia Huxley The focus of the study as a model for other algae-virus systems was and is a central driver of this process.

Scientists studied virus-algae interactions in labs in Norway’s coastal waters and in controlled, mini-blooms. He focused on a type of viral infection of algae that is responsible for creating too much oxygen and carbon cycling on Earth. A group of sea viruses called coccolithoviruses regularly infect and kill. E. Huxley More than 1,000 square miles, observable from space via Earth-viewing satellites.

Viruses eventually break down algal cells, contributing to the global food web by making energy and organic matter available to other organisms. But infected cells do not die immediately, scientists discovered. Instead, infected cells multiply and bloom in dozens of miles of ocean water and die in a coordinated manner. These dynamics have been observed regularly in previous studies, but cannot be elucidated by the rate at which algal hosts and viruses encounter each other in nature.

“, Algae and viruses have a semi-symbiotic type of affinity, which allows both algal cells and viruses to replicate happily for some time,” senior author KA D. Said Bidley, a professor and microbial oceanographer in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences. Rutgers-New Brunswick and the Institute of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. “We feel that these newly discovered dynamics also apply to other virus-algal interactions in the seas and are fundamental to how infections work. Combining experimental, theoretical, and environmental perspectives, our work is about other types of infection. Presents a template for diagnosis. ”

Bigley said the consequences of infections and the flow of carbon have important implications for algae-virus dynamics and are sequestered or stored in deep-sea carbon dioxide rather than maintained in the upper seas. Further research is needed to fully understand the extent of these dynamics and the cycling of carbon in the oceans and these effects.


Algae killing viruses induce nutrient recycling in oceans


more information:
Nature communication (2020). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-020-18078-4

Provided by Rutgers University

Quotes: Ocean algae obtained from virus ‘Coupe de Grace’ (2020, 15 September) 15 September 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-09-ocean-algae-coup-de-grace.html

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