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Open AccessArticle

Characterization and Temperature Dependence of Arctic Micromonas polaris Viruses

Department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry, NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, and University of Utrecht, P.O. Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, Texel, The Netherlands
Ocean Biogeochemistry & Ecosystems Research Group, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
Electron Microscopy Center Amsterdam, Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 15, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Theoretical Biology and Bioinformatics, Utrecht University, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands
Centre for Molecular and Biomolecular Informatics, Radboud University Medical Centre, 6525 GA Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Joint first authors.
Academic Editor: Eric O. Freed
Viruses 2017, 9(6), 134;
Received: 4 March 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Viruses 2016)
Global climate change-induced warming of the Artic seas is predicted to shift the phytoplankton community towards dominance of smaller-sized species due to global warming. Yet, little is known about their viral mortality agents despite the ecological importance of viruses regulating phytoplankton host dynamics and diversity. Here we report the isolation and basic characterization of four prasinoviruses infectious to the common Arctic picophytoplankter Micromonas. We furthermore assessed how temperature influenced viral infectivity and production. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the putative double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) Micromonas polaris viruses (MpoVs) are prasinoviruses (Phycodnaviridae) of approximately 120 nm in particle size. One MpoV showed intrinsic differences to the other three viruses, i.e., larger genome size (205 ± 2 vs. 191 ± 3 Kb), broader host range, and longer latent period (39 vs. 18 h). Temperature increase shortened the latent periods (up to 50%), increased the burst size (up to 40%), and affected viral infectivity. However, the variability in response to temperature was high for the different viruses and host strains assessed, likely affecting the Arctic picoeukaryote community structure both in the short term (seasonal cycles) and long term (global warming). View Full-Text
Keywords: Arctic algal viruses; climate change; infectivity; Micromonas virus; prasinovirus; temperature; virus-host interactions Arctic algal viruses; climate change; infectivity; Micromonas virus; prasinovirus; temperature; virus-host interactions
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Maat, D.S.; Biggs, T.; Evans, C.; Van Bleijswijk, J.D.L.; Van der Wel, N.N.; Dutilh, B.E.; Brussaard, C.P.D. Characterization and Temperature Dependence of Arctic Micromonas polaris Viruses. Viruses 2017, 9, 134.

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