Virus-host interactions in environments with a wide range of ionic strengths

Environ Microbiol Rep. 2009 Feb;1(1):71-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-2229.2008.00007.x.


Although high-salt environments are rich in viruses, virus-host interactions have not been much explored. Here we study the virus-host interactions occurring in a variety of salt environments, up to saturated salinity. We chose viruses from different environments with diverse morphologies that included both bacterial and archaeal viruses. To extend the test virus set five new haloviruses were isolated and initially characterized in this study. We observed adsorption rates that varied over four orders of magnitude among the virus-host cell systems used in this study. Changes in ionic strength affected the adsorption of these viruses to their host cells in a variety of ways. All the studied viruses, regardless from which environment they were isolated, were more resistant to variations in ionic strength conditions than their host cells. Our study provides a glimpse of the early events in virus life cycles for a number of viruses from different environments. We also gained information on viral responses to changing environments, a valuable piece of information in extending our understanding of the viruses in the environment.