Virus succession observed during an Emiliania huxleyi bloom.
ABSTRACT: Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis was used as a molecular tool to determine the diversity and to monitor population dynamics of viruses that infect the globally important coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi. We exploited variations in the major capsid protein gene from E. huxleyi-specific viruses to monitor their genetic diversity during an E. huxleyi bloom in a mesocosm experiment off western Norway. We reveal that, despite the presence of several virus genotypes at the start of an E. huxleyi bloom, only a few virus genotypes eventually go on to kill the bloom.
Project description:The Coccolithoviridae are a recently discovered group of viruses that infect the marine coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi. Emiliania huxleyi virus 203 (EhV-203) has a 160- to 180-nm-diameter icosahedral structure and a genome of approximately 400 kbp, consisting of 464 coding sequences (CDSs). Here we describe the genomic features of EhV-203 together with a draft genome sequence and its annotation, highlighting the homology and heterogeneity of this genome in comparison with the EhV-86 reference genome.
Project description:Emiliania huxleyi virus 202 (EhV-202) is a member of the Coccolithoviridae, a group of viruses that infect the marine coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi. EhV-202 has a 160- to 180-nm-diameter icosahedral structure and a genome of approximately 407 kbp, consisting of 485 coding sequences (CDSs). Here we describe the genomic features of EhV-202, together with a draft genome sequence and its annotation, highlighting the homology and heterogeneity of this genome in comparison with the EhV-86 reference genome.
Project description:Annual Emiliania huxleyi blooms (along with other coccolithophorid species) play important roles in the global carbon and sulfur cycles. E. huxleyi blooms are routinely terminated by large, host-specific dsDNA viruses, (Emiliania huxleyi Viruses; EhVs), making these host-virus interactions a driving force behind their potential impact on global biogeochemical cycles. Given projected increases in sea surface temperature due to climate change, it is imperative to understand the effects of temperature on E. huxleyi's susceptibility to viral infection and its production of climatically active dimethylated sulfur species (DSS). Here we demonstrate that a 3°C increase in temperature induces EhV-resistant phenotypes in three E. huxleyi strains and that successful virus infection impacts DSS pool sizes. We also examined cellular polar lipids, given their documented roles in regulating host-virus interactions in this system, and propose that alterations to membrane-bound surface receptors are responsible for the observed temperature-induced resistance. Our findings have potential implications for global biogeochemical cycles in a warming climate and for deciphering the particular mechanism(s) by which some E. huxleyi strains exhibit viral resistance.
Project description:The Coccolithoviridae are a group of viruses which infect the marine coccolithophorid microalga Emiliania huxleyi. The Emiliania huxleyi viruses (known as EhVs) described herein have 160- to 180-nm diameter icosahedral structures, have genomes of approximately 400 kbp, and consist of more than 450 predicted coding sequences (CDSs). Here, we describe the genomic features of four newly sequenced coccolithoviruses (EhV-88, EhV-201, EhV-207, and EhV-208) together with their draft genome sequences and their annotations, highlighting the homology and heterogeneity of these genomes to the EhV-86 model reference genome.
Project description:In this study we used denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, sequencing analysis, and analytical flow cytometry to monitor the dynamics and genetic richness of Emiliania huxleyi isolates and cooccurring viruses during two mesocosm experiments in a Norwegian fjord in 2000 and 2003. We exploited variations in a gene encoding a protein with calcium-binding motifs (GPA) and in the major capsid protein (MCP) gene to assess allelic and genotypic richness within E. huxleyi and E. huxleyi-specific viruses (EhVs), respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first report that shows the effectiveness of the GPA gene for analysis of natural communities of E. huxleyi. Our results revealed the existence of a genetically rich, yet stable E. huxleyi and EhV community in the fjordic environment. Incredibly, the same virus and host genotypes dominated in separate studies conducted 3 years apart. Both E. huxleyi-dominated blooms contained the same six E. huxleyi alleles. In addition, despite the presence of at least six and four EhV genotypes at the start of the blooms in 2000 and 2003, respectively, the same two virus genotypes dominated the naturally occurring infections during the exponential and termination phases of the blooms in both years.
Project description:Viruses are thought to be fundamental in driving microbial diversity in the oceanic planktonic realm. That role and associated emerging infection patterns remain particularly elusive for eukaryotic phytoplankton and their viruses. Here we used a vast number of strains from the model system Emiliania huxleyi/Emiliania huxleyi Virus to quantify parameters such as growth rate (µ), resistance (R), and viral production (Vp) capacities. Algal and viral abundances were monitored by flow cytometry during 72-h incubation experiments. The results pointed out higher viral production capacity in generalist EhV strains, and the virus-host infection network showed a strong co-evolution pattern between E. huxleyi and EhV populations. The existence of a trade-off between resistance and growth capacities was not confirmed.
Project description:The model coccolithophore, Emiliania huxleyi, forms expansive blooms dominated by the calcifying cell type, which produce calcite scales called coccoliths. Blooms last several weeks, after which the calcified algal cells rapidly die, descending into the deep ocean. E. huxleyi bloom collapse is attributed to E. huxleyi viruses (EhVs) that infect and kill calcifying cells, while other E. huxleyi pathogens, such as bacteria belonging to the roseobacter clade, are overlooked. EhVs kill calcifying E. huxleyi by inducing production of bioactive viral-glycosphingolipids (vGSLs), which trigger algal programmed cell death (PCD). The roseobacter Phaeobacter inhibens was recently shown to interact with and kill the calcifying cell type of E. huxleyi, but the mechanism of algal death remains unelucidated. Here we demonstrate that P. inhibens kills calcifying E. huxleyi by inducing a highly specific type of PCD called apoptosis-like-PCD (AL-PCD). Host death can successfully be abolished in the presence of a pan-caspase inhibitor, which prevents the activation of caspase-like molecules. This finding differentiates P. inhibens and EhV pathogenesis of E. huxleyi, by demonstrating that bacterial-induced AL-PCD requires active caspase-like molecules, while the viral pathogen does not. This is the first demonstration of a bacterium inducing AL-PCD in an algal host as a killing mechanism.
Project description:Lytic viral infection and programmed cell death (PCD) are thought to represent two distinct death mechanisms in phytoplankton, unicellular photoautotrophs that drift with ocean currents. Here, we demonstrate an interaction between autocatalytic PCD and lytic viral infection in the cosmopolitan coccolithophorid, Emiliania huxleyi. Successful infection of E. huxleyi strain 374 with a lytic virus, EhV1, resulted in rapid internal degradation of cellular components, a dramatic reduction in the photosynthetic efficiency (F(v)/F(m)), and an up-regulation of metacaspase protein expression, concomitant with induction of caspase-like activity. Caspase activation was confirmed through in vitro cleavage in cell extracts of the fluorogenic peptide substrate, IETD-AFC, and direct, in vivo staining of cells with the fluorescently labeled irreversible caspase inhibitor, FITC-VAD-FMK. Direct addition of z-VAD-FMK to infected cultures abolished cellular caspase activity and protein expression and severely impaired viral production. The absence of metacaspase protein expression in resistant E. huxleyi strain 373 during EhV1 infection further demonstrated the critical role of these proteases in facilitating viral lysis. Together with the presence of caspase cleavage recognition sequences within virally encoded proteins, we provide experimental evidence that coccolithoviruses induce and actively recruit host metacaspases as part of their replication strategy. These findings reveal a critical role for metacaspases in the turnover of phytoplankton biomass upon infection with viruses and point to coevolution of host-virus interactions in the activation and maintenance of these enzymes in planktonic, unicellular protists.
Project description:Lytic viruses have been implicated in the massive cellular lysis observed during algal blooms, through which they assume a prominent role in oceanic carbon and nutrient flows. Despite their impact on biogeochemical cycling, the transcriptional dynamics of these important oceanic events is still poorly understood. Here, we employ an oligonucleotide microarray to monitor host (Emiliania huxleyi) and virus (coccolithovirus) transcriptomic features during the course of E. huxleyi blooms induced in seawater-based mesocosm enclosures. Host bloom development and subsequent coccolithovirus infection was associated with a major shift in transcriptional profile. In addition to the expected metabolic requirements typically associated with viral infection (amino acid and nucleotide metabolism, as well as transcription- and replication-associated functions), the results strongly suggest that the manipulation of lipid metabolism plays a fundamental role during host-virus interaction. The results herein reveal the scale, so far massively underestimated, of the transcriptional domination that occurs during coccolithovirus infection in the natural environment. Six mesocosm enclosures were placed in the Raunefjorden (Western Norway coast) and filled with natural community water (in June 2008). Nutrient enrichment was applied in order to trigger the development of E. huxleyi blooms. The major transcriptomic features of those blooms and consequent viral infections were monitered through the use of an oligo microarray containing a total of 3571 gene probes; 2271 (63.6%) matching E. huxleyi ESTs, and 1300 (36.4%) matching EhV-86 and EhV-163 genomic sequences. Each microarray contains 5 technical replicates. Sampling of total RNA present in 2L of water (from each enclosure) was performed once a day from day 8 to day 16. For enclosures 2 and 3 other sampling points were taken, covering the complete dial-cycle (6h,12h,18h, and 24h).