Isolation and characterization of a virus infecting the freshwater algae Chrysochromulina parva

Chrysochromulina parva infected by a virus
Monday, October 19, 2015 - 8:26am

How well do we know the microbial communities around us? Apparently not that well considering that aquatic virologists are still discovering what is out there. This was demonstrated in the most recent publication by former undergrad Samia Mirz and current PhD student Mike Staniewski (Short Lab) in their paper “Isolation and characterization of a virus infecting the freshwater algae Chrysochromulina parva” published in Virology. In their article they describe the isolation and characterization of newly discovered virus from Lake Ontario. This virus that infects ecologically important primary producers has molecular and morphological features of two distinct families of viruses, but can be classified within the virus order Megavirales, a group of closely related giant dsDNA viruses. A first glimpse in the virus’s ecology based on molecular surveys of host - virus abundances in Lake Ontario revealed potentially complex dynamics suggesting that there is much to be learned about this new virus-host couple.

Congratulations, Samia and Mike, on this exciting discovery!