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Nature. 2016 Mar 24;531(7595):466-70. doi: 10.1038/nature17193. Epub 2016 Mar 16.

Lytic to temperate switching of viral communities.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, California 92182, USA.
2
Biology Institute, Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Av. Carlos Chagas Filho 373, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21941-599, Brazil.
3
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, California 92182, USA.
4
Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 46-007 Lilipuna Road, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744, USA.
5
Computational Science Research Center, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, California 92182, USA.
6
Rainbow Rock, Ocean View, Hawaii 96737, USA.
7
Radboud University Medical Centre, Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Centre for Molecular and Biomolecular Informatics, 6525HP Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
8
Viral Information Institute, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, California 92182, USA.
9
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 8622 Kennel Way, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.
10
Department of Biology, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.
11
Marine Sciences Department, Sao Paulo Federal University - Baixada Santista, Av. Alm. Saldanha da Gama, 89, Santos, São Paulo 11030-400, Brazil.
12
National Geographic Society, 1145 17th St NW, Washington D.C. 20036, USA.
13
CARMABI Foundation, Piscaderabaai z/n, Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles.
14
Aquatic Microbiology, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, 1098XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Microbial viruses can control host abundances via density-dependent lytic predator-prey dynamics. Less clear is how temperate viruses, which coexist and replicate with their host, influence microbial communities. Here we show that virus-like particles are relatively less abundant at high host densities. This suggests suppressed lysis where established models predict lytic dynamics are favoured. Meta-analysis of published viral and microbial densities showed that this trend was widespread in diverse ecosystems ranging from soil to freshwater to human lungs. Experimental manipulations showed viral densities more consistent with temperate than lytic life cycles at increasing microbial abundance. An analysis of 24 coral reef viromes showed a relative increase in the abundance of hallmark genes encoded by temperate viruses with increased microbial abundance. Based on these four lines of evidence, we propose the Piggyback-the-Winner model wherein temperate dynamics become increasingly important in ecosystems with high microbial densities; thus 'more microbes, fewer viruses'.

PMID:
26982729
DOI:
10.1038/nature17193
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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