Role of ssDNA phages in aquatic microbial ecology and evolution

Main funder

Funds granted by main funder (€)

  • 200 000,00

Project timetable

Project start date: 01/01/2021

Project end date: 31/12/2023


Phages, the viruses infecting bacteria, are known to have a major impact on the diversity and phenotype of their bacterial hosts. Yet, we still know very little about life cycles of these viruses in the boreal aquatic environment, although genomic data indicates ssDNA viruses are more prevalent in the environment than previously anticipated. We isolated the first ssDNA phage with a lipid membrane, FLiP, from a lake in Central Finland. This virus has characteristics of dsDNA viruses, making it an evolutionary link between these virus groups. Another virus with similar characteristics has been identified in our unpublished work. Both viruses infect flavobacteria, which is an important bacterial group in freshwaters around the world, and can be found as a prophage (integrated into the bacterial host genome) in the environmental bacteria. This projects aims to describe the life cycles of FLiP type viruses in the boreal environment, explore the prevalence of ssDNA prophages in environment, and characterize the role of bacterial resistance mechanisms, especially CRISPR, in bacterial ecology and evolution and in regulating phage life cycles.

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Last updated on 2020-09-12 at 06:32