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Life 2014, 4(4), 681-715; doi:10.3390/life4040681

Viruses of Haloarchaea

1
School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales 2052, Australia
2
Department of Microbiology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Hong Kong, China
3
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-3125, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 September 2014 / Revised: 23 October 2014 / Accepted: 24 October 2014 / Published: 13 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaea: Evolution, Physiology, and Molecular Biology)
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Abstract

In hypersaline environments, haloarchaea (halophilic members of the Archaea) are the dominant organisms, and the viruses that infect them, haloarchaeoviruses are at least ten times more abundant. Since their discovery in 1974, described haloarchaeoviruses include head-tailed, pleomorphic, spherical and spindle-shaped morphologies, representing Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, Podoviridae, Pleolipoviridae, Sphaerolipoviridae and Fuselloviridae families. This review overviews current knowledge of haloarchaeoviruses, providing information about classification, morphotypes, macromolecules, life cycles, genetic manipulation and gene regulation, and host-virus responses. In so doing, the review incorporates knowledge from laboratory studies of isolated viruses, field-based studies of environmental samples, and both genomic and metagenomic analyses of haloarchaeoviruses. What emerges is that some haloarchaeoviruses possess unique morphological and life cycle properties, while others share features with other viruses (e.g., bacteriophages). Their interactions with hosts influence community structure and evolution of populations that exist in hypersaline environments as diverse as seawater evaporation ponds, to hot desert or Antarctic lakes. The discoveries of their wide-ranging and important roles in the ecology and evolution of hypersaline communities serves as a strong motivator for future investigations of both laboratory-model and environmental systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: viral lineage; viral evolution; virus life cycle; capsid protein; persistent; temperate; virulent infection; CRISPR; host defense; evasion invasion mechanism; integrase; genome variation; salty; halophile viral lineage; viral evolution; virus life cycle; capsid protein; persistent; temperate; virulent infection; CRISPR; host defense; evasion invasion mechanism; integrase; genome variation; salty; halophile
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Luk, A.W.S.; Williams, T.J.; Erdmann, S.; Papke, R.T.; Cavicchioli, R. Viruses of Haloarchaea. Life 2014, 4, 681-715.

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