Survey of viral populations within Lake Michigan nearshore waters at four Chicago area beaches

Emily Sible, Loyola University Chicago
Alexandria Cooper, Loyola University Chicago
Kema Malki, Loyola University Chicago
Katherine Bruder, Loyola University Chicago
Siobhan C. Watkins, Loyola University Chicago
Yuriy Fofanov, University of Texas Medical Branch
Catherine Putonti, Loyola University Chicago

Author Posting. © 2015 Sible et al. This article is posted here by permission of the authors for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Data in Brief, Volume 5, 2015,


In comparison to the oceans, freshwater environments represent a more diverse community of microorganisms, exhibiting comparatively high levels of variability both temporally and spatially Maranger and Bird, Microb. Ecol. 31 (1996) 141-151. This level of variability is likely to extend to the world of viruses as well, in particular bacteria-infecting viruses (bacteriophages). Phages are known to influence bacterial diversity, and therefore key processes, in environmental niches across the globe Clokie et al., Bacteriophage 1 (2011) 31-45; Jacquet et al., Adv. Ocean Limn. 1 (2010) 97-141; Wilhelm and Suttle, Bioscience 49 (1999) 781-788; Bratback et al., Microb. Ecol. 28 (1994) 209-221. Despite their prevalence and likely critical role in freshwater environments, very few viral species have been characterized. Metagenomic approaches, however, have allowed for a glimpse into phage diversity. We collected surface water samples from four Chicago area beaches - Gillson Park, Montrose Beach, 57th Street Beach, and Calumet Beach - every two weeks from May 13 through August 5, 2014. Sampling was conducted with four biological replicates for each sampling date and location, resulting in 112 samples. DNA isolated from each of the individual samples for a given collection date/location was pooled together, with one exception - Calumet Beach on August 5, 2014 - in which each biological replicate was sequenced individually. Raw sequence data is available via NCBI's SRA database (part of BioProject PRJNA248239).