Viral impact on prokaryotic and microalgal activities in the microphytobenthic biofilm of an intertidal mudflat (French Atlantic coast)

Abstract : This is the first report on viriobenthos activity within the microbial biofilm located at the top-surface of the intertidal mudflat during emersion in Marennes-Oléron Bay (France). By combining in situ and ex situ approaches, the viral production (VP) was linked to the dynamics of prokaryotes and microphytobenthos (MPB). VP averaged 2-4 x 108 viruses ml-1 h-1. VP correlated positively with the Virus to Prokaryote Ratio, and both were correlated negatively with the water content. The virus-induced mortality of prokaryotes was lower in winter than in summer (6.8 vs 39.7 % of the production) and the C-shunting may supply 2 to 12% of their Carbon Demand, respectively. VP accounted for 79% of loss in Prokaryotes but the response was delayed compared to the increase in VP suggesting a simultaneous release of viruses of MPB origin. This hypothesis is supported by capsid-sizing of virions by transmission electronic microscopy and bioassays. Harvesting and ex situ maintenance of top-surface sediments was carried out to monitor the dynamics of viruses, prokaryotes and MPB after inoculation with benthic or planktonic viruses. Benthic viruses modified the prokaryotic and MPB dynamics and decreased the photosynthesis efficiency in contrast to planktonic viruses that impacted MPB but not the prokaryotes.
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Hélène Montanié, Margot de Crignis, Johann Lavaud. Viral impact on prokaryotic and microalgal activities in the microphytobenthic biofilm of an intertidal mudflat (French Atlantic coast). Frontiers in microbiology, Frontiers Research Foundation, 2015, 6, ⟨10.3389/fmicb.2015.01214⟩. ⟨hal-01237177⟩

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