Cyanophages exert important top-down controls on their cyanobacteria hosts; however, concurrent analysis of both phage and host populations is needed to better assess phage-host interaction models. We analyzed picocyanobacteria Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus and T4-like cyanophage communities in Pacific Ocean surface waters using five years of monthly viral and cellular fraction metagenomes. Cyanophage communities contained thousands of mostly low-abundance (<2% relative abundance) species with varying temporal dynamics, categorized as seasonally recurring or non-seasonal and occurring persistently, occasionally, or sporadically (detected in ≥85%, 15-85%, or <15% of samples, respectively). Viromes contained mostly seasonal and persistent phages (~40% each), while cellular fraction metagenomes had mostly sporadic species (~50%), reflecting that these sample sets capture different steps of the infection cycle-virions from prior infections or within currently infected cells, respectively. Two groups of seasonal phages correlated to Synechococcus or Prochlorococcus were abundant in spring/summer or fall/winter, respectively. Cyanophages likely have a strong influence on the host community structure, as their communities explained up to 32% of host community variation. These results support how both seasonally recurrent and apparent stochastic processes, likely determined by host availability and different host-range strategies among phages, are critical to phage-host interactions and dynamics, consistent with both the Kill-the-Winner and the Bank models.
Dart, Emily; Fuhrman, Jed A.; and Ahlgren, Nathan A., "Diverse Marine T4-like Cyanophage Communities Are Primarily Comprised of Low-Abundance Species Including Species with Distinct Seasonal, Persistent, Occasional, or Sporadic Dynamics" (2023). Biology. 4.
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Published source must be acknowledged with citation: Dart, E., Fuhrman, J. A., & Ahlgren, N. A. (2023). Diverse Marine T4-like Cyanophage Communities Are Primarily Comprised of Low-Abundance Species Including Species with Distinct Seasonal, Persistent, Occasional, or Sporadic Dynamics. Viruses, 15(2), 581.