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Journal Articles ISME Journal Year : 2017

Temperature is a key factor in Micromonas-virus interactions

Sophie Rabouille


The genus Micromonas comprises phytoplankton that show among the widest latitudinal distributions on Earth, and members of this genus are recurrently infected by prasinoviruses in contrasted thermal ecosystems. In this study, we assessed how temperature influences the interplay between the main genetic clades of this prominent microalga and their viruses. The growth of three Micromonas strains (Mic-A, Mic-B, Mic-C) and the stability of their respective lytic viruses (MicV-A, MicV-B, MicV-C) were measured over a thermal range of 4–32.5 °C. Similar growth temperature optima (Topt) were predicted for all three hosts but Mic-B exhibited a broader thermal tolerance than Mic-A and Mic-C, suggesting distinct thermoacclimation strategies. Similarly, the MicV-C virus displayed a remarkable thermal stability compared with MicV-A and MicV-B. Despite these divergences, infection dynamics showed that temperatures below Topt lengthened lytic cycle kinetics and reduced viral yield and, notably, that infection at temperatures above Topt did not usually result in cell lysis. Two mechanisms operated depending on the temperature and the biological system. Hosts either prevented the production of viral progeny or maintained their ability to produce virions with no apparent cell lysis, pointing to a possible switch in the viral life strategy. Hence, temperature changes critically affect the outcome of Micromonas infection and have implications for ocean biogeochemistry and evolution.
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Dates and versions

hal-01464528 , version 1 (10-02-2017)



David Demory, Laure Arsenieff, Nathalie Simon, Christophe Six, Fabienne Rigaut-Jalabert, et al.. Temperature is a key factor in Micromonas-virus interactions. ISME Journal, 2017, 11 (3), pp.601-612. ⟨10.1038/ismej.2016.160⟩. ⟨hal-01464528⟩
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