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Brief Report

Effect of the Presence of Virus-like Particles on Bacterial Growth in Sunlit Surface and Dark Deep Ocean Environments in the Southern East China Sea

1
Institute of Marine Environment and Ecology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 202-24, Taiwan
2
Center of Excellence for the Oceans, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 202-24, Taiwan
3
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sandi Orlić
Water 2021, 13(20), 2934; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202934
Received: 3 September 2021 / Revised: 12 October 2021 / Accepted: 14 October 2021 / Published: 19 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Communities in Water Environments: Dynamics and Interaction)
Virus-like particles (VLPs) are thought to increase the dissolved organic carbon by releasing the contents of the host cell, which, in turn, can affect bacterial growth in natural aquatic environments. Yet, experimental tests have shown that the effect of VLPs on the bacterial growth rate at different depths has seldom been studied. Bacteria–VLP interaction and the effect of VLPs on bacterial growth rate in the sunlit surface (3 m) and dark, deep ocean (130 m) environments were first explored at a test site in the southern East China Sea of the northwest Pacific. Our experimental results indicated that bacterial and virus-like particle (VLP) abundance decreased with depth from 0.8 ± 0.3 × 105 cells mL−1 and 1.8 ± 0.4 × 106 VLPs mL−1 at 3 m to 0.4 ± 0.1 × 105 cells mL−1 and 1.4 ± 0.3 × 106 VLPs mL−1 at 130 m. We found that the abundance of VLPs to Bacteria Ratio (VBR) in the dark deep ocean (VBR = 35.0 ± 5.6) was higher than in the sunlit surface environment (VBR = 22.5 ± 2.1). The most interesting finding is that in the dark, deep ocean region the bacterial growth rate in the presence of VLPs was higher (0.05 h−1) than that in virus-diluted treatments (0.01 h−1). However, there was no significant difference in the bacterial growth rates between the treatments in the sunlit surface ocean region. Deep-sea ecosystems are dark and extreme environments that lack primary photosynthetic production, and our estimates imply that the contribution of recycled carbon by viral lysis is highly significant for bacterial growth in the dark, deep ocean environment. Further work for more study sites is needed to identify the relationship of VLPs and their hosts to enable us to understand the role of VLPs at different depths in the East China Sea. View Full-Text
Keywords: VLP production; East China Sea; VLPs to bacteria ratio; bacterial growth rates; VLP abundance VLP production; East China Sea; VLPs to bacteria ratio; bacterial growth rates; VLP abundance
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tsai, A.-Y.; Lin, Y.-T.; Gong, G.-C. Effect of the Presence of Virus-like Particles on Bacterial Growth in Sunlit Surface and Dark Deep Ocean Environments in the Southern East China Sea. Water 2021, 13, 2934. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202934

AMA Style

Tsai A-Y, Lin Y-T, Gong G-C. Effect of the Presence of Virus-like Particles on Bacterial Growth in Sunlit Surface and Dark Deep Ocean Environments in the Southern East China Sea. Water. 2021; 13(20):2934. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202934

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tsai, An-Yi, Ying-Tsong Lin, and Gwo-Ching Gong. 2021. "Effect of the Presence of Virus-like Particles on Bacterial Growth in Sunlit Surface and Dark Deep Ocean Environments in the Southern East China Sea" Water 13, no. 20: 2934. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202934

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