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The role of phages and viruses in oceanic primary production

Havinga, R. (2005) The role of phages and viruses in oceanic primary production. Master's Thesis / Essay, Biology.

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Phages and viruses are currently becoming recognised as important actors in the oceanic food-web. They have not only shown to be capable of controlling plankton crops by infecting cells and inflicting lysis upon them. By breaking down live microalgea and cyanobacteria, they also add organic material to the seawater debris and DOC pools. This again serves as a food-source for heterotrophic bacteria. In effect, marine viruses are cutting-short in the nutrient and energy chain, bypassing the higher trophic levels occupied by creatures like krill, fish, seabirds and cetaceans. This results in what is called the 'microbial loop':materials and energy are circulating around between microbes without being exported upward to bacterivores, knIt, fish etc. Although we now have come to the agreement that for some organisms it is a good thing that phages and viruses - who are considered to be host-specific - are around, so far it is still bad news for the infected ones. However, some cyanobacteria and microalgea seem to benefit from respectively phage or virus infection. They seem to be better able to cope with extreme light intensities when infected. Some phages have proven able of mending the damage of excess light on their cyanobacteria hosts.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:31
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:31

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