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Rapid microcystis cyanophage gene diversification revealed by long- and short-term genetic analyses of the tail sheath gene in a natural pond.


ABSTRACT: Viruses influence the abundance of host populations through virus-mediated host cell lysis. Viruses contribute to the generation and maintenance of host diversity, which also results in viral diversity throughout their coevolution. Here, to determine the phage gene diversification throughout the coevolution of host and phage in a natural environment, we investigated the genetic diversity and temporal changes in Microcystis cyanophage populations using a total of 810 sequences of the Ma-LMM01-type cyanophage tail sheath gene (g91) from 2006 to 2011 in a natural pond. The sequences obtained were highly diverse and assigned to 419 different genotypes (GT1 to GT419) clustered at 100% nucleotide sequence similarity. A maximum-parsimony network showed that the genotypes were largely divided into three sequence groups, which were dominated by major genotypes (more than 24 sequences: GT2, GT53, and GT163 in group I; GT25 in group II; and GT1 in group III). These major genotypes coexisted and oscillated throughout the sampling periods, suggesting that the Microcystis-cyanophage coevolution was partly driven by a negative frequency-dependent selection. Meanwhile, the high viral genetic diversity observed was derived from a large number of the variants of each major and moderately frequent genotype (including 7 to 18 sequences: GT7, GT26, GT56, GT149, and GT182 in group I; GT152 in group II) (1 or 2 nucleotide substitutions). The variants almost always co-occurred with their origin genotypes. This manner of variant emergence suggests that increased contact frequency within a host-phage population promotes rapid coevolution in a form of "arms race."

SUBMITTER: Kimura S 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3623194 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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