Weitz Group @ Georgia Tech Theoretical Ecology and Quantitative Biology



The effect of strain level diversity on robust inference of virus-induced mortality

TitleThe effect of strain level diversity on robust inference of virus-induced mortality
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBeckett SJ, Weitz JS
JournalbioRxiv
Abstract

Infection and lysis of phytoplankton by viruses affects population dynamics and nutrient cycles within oceanic microbial communities. However, estimating the quantitative rates of viral-induced lysis remains challenging in situ. The modified dilution method is the most commonly utilised empirical approach to estimate virus-induced killing rates of phytoplankton. The lysis rate estimates of the modified dilution method are based on models of virus-host interactions involving only a single virus and a single host population. Here, using modelling approaches, we examine the robustness of the modified dilution method in multi-strain, complex communities. We assume that strains differ in their life history traits, including growth rates (of hosts) and lysis rates (by viruses). We show that trait differences affect resulting experimental dynamics such that lysis rates measured using the modified dilution method may be driven by the fastest replicating strains; which are not necessarily the most abundant in situ. We discuss the implications of using the modified dilution method and alternative dilution-based approaches for estimating viral-induced lysis rates in marine microbial communities.

URLhttps://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/03/07/277517
DOI10.1101/277517