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Article

Enhanced Viral Activity in the Surface Microlayer of the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans

1
Institut de Ciències del Mar-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (ICM-CSIC), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 37–49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
2
Centro Oceanográfico de Canarias (Instituto Español de Oceanografía, IEO), Farola del Mar 22, Dársena Pesquera, 38180 Tenerife, Spain
3
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955, Saudi Arabia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Contributed equally to the elaboration of the study and manuscript.
Academic Editor: C.P.D. (Corina) Brussaard
Microorganisms 2021, 9(2), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020317
Received: 4 January 2021 / Revised: 25 January 2021 / Accepted: 28 January 2021 / Published: 4 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Microbes)
The ocean surface microlayer (SML), with physicochemical characteristics different from those of subsurface waters (SSW), results in dense and active viral and microbial communities that may favor virus–host interactions. Conversely, wind speed and/or UV radiation could adversely affect virus infection. Furthermore, in polar regions, organic and inorganic nutrient inputs from melting ice may increase microbial activity in the SML. Since the role of viruses in the microbial food web of the SML is poorly understood in polar oceans, we aimed to study the impact of viruses on prokaryotic communities in the SML and in the SSW in Arctic and Antarctic waters. We hypothesized that a higher viral activity in the SML than in the SSW in both polar systems would be observed. We measured viral and prokaryote abundances, virus-mediated mortality on prokaryotes, heterotrophic and phototrophic nanoflagellate abundance, and environmental factors. In both polar zones, we found small differences in environmental factors between the SML and the SSW. In contrast, despite the adverse effect of wind, viral and prokaryote abundances and virus-mediated mortality on prokaryotes were higher in the SML than in the SSW. As a consequence, the higher carbon flux released by lysed cells in the SML than in the SSW would increase the pool of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and be rapidly used by other prokaryotes to grow (the viral shunt). Thus, our results suggest that viral activity greatly contributes to the functioning of the microbial food web in the SML, which could influence the biogeochemical cycles of the water column. View Full-Text
Keywords: prokaryotes; viruses; virus-mediated mortality; surface microlayer; subsurface water; Arctic and Antarctic Oceans prokaryotes; viruses; virus-mediated mortality; surface microlayer; subsurface water; Arctic and Antarctic Oceans
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vaqué, D.; Boras, J.A.; Arrieta, J.M.; Agustí, S.; Duarte, C.M.; Sala, M.M. Enhanced Viral Activity in the Surface Microlayer of the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 317. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020317

AMA Style

Vaqué D, Boras JA, Arrieta JM, Agustí S, Duarte CM, Sala MM. Enhanced Viral Activity in the Surface Microlayer of the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. Microorganisms. 2021; 9(2):317. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020317

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vaqué, Dolors; Boras, Julia A.; Arrieta, Jesús M.; Agustí, Susana; Duarte, Carlos M.; Sala, Maria M. 2021. "Enhanced Viral Activity in the Surface Microlayer of the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans" Microorganisms 9, no. 2: 317. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020317

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