Chen, F., S.M. Short and C.A. Suttle. 1996. Sequence analysis indicates high genetic diversity in marine algal virus communities. Eos 76(3 suppl):OS207.

Algal virus specific PCR primers were used to amplify DNA polymerase (DNA pol) gene fragments (683 to 689 bp) from the virus-size fraction (0.02 to 0.2 µm) concentrated from inshore and offshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Algal virus like DNA pol genes were detected in samples collected from the surface and deep chlorophyll maximum. The genetic diversity of 33 fragments amplified from an offshore station were examined by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and sequence analysis. The five different genotypes that were identified based on RFLP banding patterns were present in different relative abundances (9 to 34 %). One clone from each genotype was sequenced and phylogenetic analysis showed that all of the genotypes fell within the Phycodnaviridae. Four genotypes fell within a group of viruses (MpV) which infect the photosynthetic picoplankter Micromonas pusilla. The genetic diversity among these genotypes was as large as that previously found for MpV isolates from different oceans. The remaining genotype formed it's own clade between viruses which infect M. pusilla and Chrysochromulina brevifilum. These results imply that marine virus communities contain a diverse assemblage of MpV-like viruses, as well as other unknown Phycodnaviridae.

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