Weitz Group @ Georgia Tech Theoretical Ecology and Quantitative Biology



The Effect of Strain Level Diversity on Robust Inference of Virus-Induced Mortality of Phytoplankton

TitleThe Effect of Strain Level Diversity on Robust Inference of Virus-Induced Mortality of Phytoplankton
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBeckett SJ, Weitz JS
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Volume9
Pagination1850
ISSN1664-302X
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 which assume virus-host interactions can be represented by a single virus and a single host population with homogeneous life-history traits. 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.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01850
DOI10.3389/fmicb.2018.01850