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Viruses of Polar Aquatic Environments
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Ecological and Evolutionary Processes Shaping Viral Genetic Diversity

by Cas Retel 1,2,*,†, Hanna Märkle 3,†, Lutz Becks 4,‡ and Philine G. D. Feulner 1,2,‡
Department of Fish Ecology and Evolution, Center for Ecology, Evolution and Biogeochemistry, EAWAG, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, 6047 Kastanienbaum, Switzerland
Division of Aquatic Ecology, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
Section of Population Genetics, TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, Technical University of Munich, 85354 Freising, Germany
Limnological Institute University Konstanz, Aquatic Ecology and Evolution, 78464 Konstanz, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Viruses 2019, 11(3), 220;
Received: 24 January 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 27 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses of Microbes V: Biodiversity and Future Applications)
The contemporary genomic diversity of viruses is a result of the continuous and dynamic interaction of past ecological and evolutionary processes. Thus, genome sequences of viruses can be a valuable source of information about these processes. In this review, we first describe the relevant processes shaping viral genomic variation, with a focus on the role of host–virus coevolution and its potential to give rise to eco-evolutionary feedback loops. We further give a brief overview of available methodology designed to extract information about these processes from genomic data. Short generation times and small genomes make viruses ideal model systems to study the joint effect of complex coevolutionary and eco-evolutionary interactions on genetic evolution. This complexity, together with the diverse array of lifetime and reproductive strategies in viruses ask for extensions of existing inference methods, for example by integrating multiple information sources. Such integration can broaden the applicability of genetic inference methods and thus further improve our understanding of the role viruses play in biological communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: genetic diversity; viral population genetics; host–virus coevolution; eco-evolutionary feedback genetic diversity; viral population genetics; host–virus coevolution; eco-evolutionary feedback
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Retel, C.; Märkle, H.; Becks, L.; Feulner, P.G.D. Ecological and Evolutionary Processes Shaping Viral Genetic Diversity. Viruses 2019, 11, 220.

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