Data_Sheet_1_The Environment and Cyanophage Diversity: Insights From Environmental Sequencing of DNA

2019-02-08T04:03:41Z (GMT) by Jan F. Finke Curtis A. Suttle

Globally distributed and abundant cyanophages in the family Myoviridae have dsDNA genomes with variable gene content, including host-derived auxiliary metabolic genes (AMGs) that potentially can facilitate viral replication. However, it is not well understood how this variation in gene content interacts with environmental variables to shape cyanomyovirus communities. This project correlated the genetic repertoire of cyanomyoviruses with their phyologeny, and investigated cyanomyovirus ecotype distribution as a function of environmental conditions across locations and seasons. Reference cyanomyovirus genomes were compared for their overlap in gene content to infer phyologenetic distances, and these distances were compared to distances calculated based on DNA polymerase (gp43) gene sequences. In turn, gp43 partial gene sequences amplified from natural cyanophage communities were used to describe cyanomyovirus community composition and to assess the relationship between environmental variables. The results showed the following: (1) DNA polymerase gene phylogeny generally correlated with the similarity in gene content among reference cyanomyoviruses, and thus can be used to describe environmental cyanomyovirus communities; (2) spatial and seasonal patterns in cyanomyovirus communities were related to environmental variables; (3) salinity and temperature, combined with nutrient concentration were predictors of cyanomyovirus richness, diversity and community composition. This study shows that environmental variables shape viral communities by drawing on a diverse seed bank of viral genotypes. From these results it is evident that that viral ecotypes with their corresponding genetic repertoires underlie selection pressures. However, the mechanisms involved in selecting for specific viral genotypes remain to be fully understood.