Rising to the challenge: accelerated pace of discovery transforms marine virology

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2015 Mar;13(3):147-59. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3404. Epub 2015 Feb 2.


Marine viruses have important roles in microbial mortality, gene transfer, metabolic reprogramming and biogeochemical cycling. In this Review, we discuss recent technological advances in marine virology including the use of near-quantitative, reproducible metagenomics for large-scale investigation of viral communities and the emergence of gene-based viral ecology. We also describe the reprogramming of microbially driven processes by viral metabolic genes, the identification of novel viruses using cultivation-dependent and cultivation-independent tools, and the potential for modelling studies to provide a framework for studying virus-host interactions. These transformative advances have set a rapid pace in exploring and predicting how marine viruses manipulate and respond to their environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biota*
  • Metagenomics / methods
  • Metagenomics / trends
  • Seawater / virology*
  • Virology / methods
  • Virology / trends