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Phage-centric ecological interactions in aquatic ecosystems revealed through ultra-deep metagenomics


Kavagutti, Vinicius S; Andrei, Adrian-Ştefan; Mehrshad, Maliheh; Salcher, Michaela M; Ghai, Rohit (2019). Phage-centric ecological interactions in aquatic ecosystems revealed through ultra-deep metagenomics. Microbiome, 7:135.

Abstract

The persistent inertia in the ability to culture environmentally abundant microbes from aquatic ecosystems represents an obstacle in disentangling the complex web of ecological interactions spun by a diverse assortment of participants (pro- and eukaryotes and their viruses). In aquatic microbial communities, the numerically most abundant actors, the viruses, remain the most elusive, and especially in freshwaters their identities and ecology remain unknown. Here, using ultra-deep metagenomic sequencing from pelagic freshwater habitats, we recovered complete genomes of > 2000 phages, including small “miniphages” and large “megaphages” infecting iconic freshwater prokaryotic lineages. For instance, abundant freshwater Actinobacteria support infection by a very broad size range of phages (13–200 Kb). We describe many phages encoding genes that likely afford protection to their host from reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the aquatic environment and in the oxidative burst in protist phagolysosomes (phage-mediated ROS defense). Spatiotemporal abundance analyses of phage genomes revealed evanescence as the primary dynamic in upper water layers, where they displayed short-lived existences. In contrast, persistence was characteristic for the deeper layers where many identical phage genomes were recovered repeatedly. Phage and host abundances corresponded closely, with distinct populations displaying preferential distributions in different seasons and depths, closely mimicking overall stratification and mixis.

Abstract

The persistent inertia in the ability to culture environmentally abundant microbes from aquatic ecosystems represents an obstacle in disentangling the complex web of ecological interactions spun by a diverse assortment of participants (pro- and eukaryotes and their viruses). In aquatic microbial communities, the numerically most abundant actors, the viruses, remain the most elusive, and especially in freshwaters their identities and ecology remain unknown. Here, using ultra-deep metagenomic sequencing from pelagic freshwater habitats, we recovered complete genomes of > 2000 phages, including small “miniphages” and large “megaphages” infecting iconic freshwater prokaryotic lineages. For instance, abundant freshwater Actinobacteria support infection by a very broad size range of phages (13–200 Kb). We describe many phages encoding genes that likely afford protection to their host from reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the aquatic environment and in the oxidative burst in protist phagolysosomes (phage-mediated ROS defense). Spatiotemporal abundance analyses of phage genomes revealed evanescence as the primary dynamic in upper water layers, where they displayed short-lived existences. In contrast, persistence was characteristic for the deeper layers where many identical phage genomes were recovered repeatedly. Phage and host abundances corresponded closely, with distinct populations displaying preferential distributions in different seasons and depths, closely mimicking overall stratification and mixis.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:1 December 2019
Deposited On:11 Feb 2020 16:33
Last Modified:11 Feb 2020 16:34
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:2049-2618
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s40168-019-0752-0

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