Eukaryotic virus composition can predict the efficiency of carbon export in the global ocean

Hiroto Kaneko, Romain Blanc-Mathieu, Hisashi Endo, Samuel Chaffron, Tom O. Delmont, Morgan Gaia, Nicolas Henry, Rodrigo Hernández-Velázquez, Canh Hao Nguyen, Hiroshi Mamitsuka, Patrick Forterre, Olivier Jaillon (+5 others)
2020 iScience  
The biological carbon pump, in which carbon fixed by photosynthesis is exported to the deep ocean through sinking, is a major process in Earth's carbon cycle. The proportion of primary production that is exported is termed the carbon export efficiency (CEE). Based on in-lab or regional scale observations, viruses were previously suggested to affect the CEE (i.e., viral "shunt" and "shuttle"). In this study, we tested associations between viral community composition and CEE measured at a global
more » ... cale. A regression model based on relative abundance of viral marker genes explained 67% of the variation in CEE. Viruses with high importance in the model were predicted to infect ecologically important hosts. These results are consistent with the view that the viral shunt and shuttle functions at a large scale and further imply that viruses likely act in this process in a way dependent on their hosts and ecosystem dynamics.
doi:10.1016/j.isci.2020.102002 pmid:33490910 pmcid:PMC7811142 fatcat:lijrmerxvffhnfmhikpd3g73lm