Tales from a thousand and one phages

Bacteriophage. 2014 Jan 1;4(1):e28265. doi: 10.4161/bact.28265. Epub 2014 Feb 18.


The sequencing of marine metagenomic fosmids led to the discovery of several new complete phage genomes. Among the 21 major sequence groups, 10 totally novel groups of marine phages could be identified. Some of these represent the first phages infecting large marine prokaryotic phyla, such as the Verrucomicrobia and the recently described Ca. Actinomarinales. Coming from a single deep photic zone sample the diversity of phages found is astonishing, and the comparison with a metavirome from the same location indicates that only 2% of the real diversity was recovered. In addition to this large macro-diversity, rich micro-diversity was also found, affecting host-recognition modules, mirroring the variation of cell surface components in their host marine microbes.

Keywords: constant-diversity; deep chlorophyll maximum; marine phages; metagenomics; metavirome; pan-genome; pan-selectome; phage evolution; red-queen.