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Metatranscriptomic analysis of extremely halophilic viral communities

AuthorsSantos, Fernando; Moreno-Paz, Mercedes ; Meseguer, Inmaculada; López, Cristina; Rosselló-Mora, Ramón ; Parro-García, Víctor ; Antón, Josefa
Issue Date2011
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationISME Journal 5: 1621- 1633 (2011)
AbstractHypersaline environments harbour the highest number of viruses reported for aquatic environments. In crystallizer ponds from solar salterns, haloviruses coexist with extremely halophilic Archaea and Bacteria and present a high diversity although little is known about their activity. In this work, we analyzed the viral expression in one crystallizer using a metatranscriptomic approach in which clones from a metaviromic library were immobilized in a microarray and used as probes against total mRNA extracted from the hypersaline community. This approach has two advantages: (i) it overcomes the fact that there is no straightforward, unambiguous way to extract viral mRNA from bulk mRNAs and (ii) it makes the sequencing of all mRNAs unnecessary. Transcriptomic data indicated that the halovirus assemblage was highly active at the time of sampling and the viral groups with the highest expression levels were those related to high GC content haloarchaea and Salinibacter representatives, which are minor components in the environment. Moreover, the changes in the viral expression pattern and in the numbers of free viral particles were analyzed after submitting the samples to two stress conditions: ultraviolet-radiation and dilution. Results showed that Archaea were more sensitive than Bacteria to these stress conditions. The overexpression in the predicted archaeal virus fraction raised and the total numbers of free viruses increased. Furthermore, we identified some very closely related viral clones, displaying single-nucleotide polymorphisms, which were expressed only under certain conditions. These clones could be part of very closely related virus genomes for which we propose the term 'ecoviriotypes'. © 2011 International Society for Microbial Ecology. All rights reserved.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1038/ismej.2011.34
issn: 1751-7362
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(CAB) Artículos
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