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Marine and Freshwater Research


Bacteriophages are powerful ecosystem engineers. They drive bacterial mortality rates and genetic diversity, and affect microbially mediated biogeochemical processes on a global scale. This has been demonstrated in marine environments; however, phage communities have been less studied in freshwaters, despite representing a potentially more diverse environment. Lake Michigan is one of the largest bodies of freshwater on the planet, yet to date the diversity of its phages has yet to be examined. Here, we present a composite survey of viral ecology in the nearshore waters of Lake Michigan. Sequence analysis was performed using a web server previously used to analyse similar data. Our results revealed a diverse community of DNA phages, largely comprising the order Caudovirales. Within the scope of the current study, the Lake Michigan virome demonstrates a distinct community. Although several phages appeared to hold dominance, further examination highlighted the importance of interrogating metagenomic data at the genome level. We present our study as baseline information for further examination of the ecology of the lake. In the current study we discuss our results and highlight issues of data analysis which may be important for freshwater studies particularly, in light of the complexities associated with examining phage ecology generally


Author Posting. © CSIRO Publishing, 2015. This article is posted here by permission of CSIRO for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Marine and Freshwater Research, 2015,

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.