France-Berkeley Fund 2018

Determining the interaction of viruses with autotrophic prokaryotic hosts in soil

Teresa Head-Gordon, College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley, Jean-Philip Piquemal, Laboratoire de Chimie Théorique, Sorbonne Université

While we are beginning to understand the complexity of bacterial and archaeal communities in soil, we are currently ignorant of the roles of viruses in influencing the ecology of these soil populations. Infection by lytic viruses is followed by replication and lysis of the host cell, releases new virions into the environment. In addition to controlling population numbers, viral infection also has major consequences for nutrient cycles. We are targeting a critical process in the nitrogen cycle (nitrification) using stable isotope (13C) enabled metagenomic analyses.

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