Part of an international collaboration: ETSP OMZ.
OMZs are coastal marine areas that contain a hypoxic layer of <20 µM of dissolved oxygen. In the ETSP OMZ, microbes (small Eukaryotes, Bacteria, Archaea, and Viruses) metabolize nitrogen, carbon, and sulfur in the absence of oxygen. Sampling over three consecutive years, we have found that the ratio of virus-like particles to microbes fluctuates wildly in the anoxic layers and, unusually, reaches a 1:1 at some depths. Analysis of the prophage and viral communities from these unique marine habitats are in progress. These two viral metagenomes exhibit distinct community structures, indicating successful induction of OMZ prophages. Further analysis includes fine-grained investigation of the OMZ viral and prophage metabolism compared to the microbes.