Host traits drive viral life histories across phytoplankton viruses [article]

Kyle Edwards, Grieg Steward
2017 bioRxiv   pre-print
Viruses are integral to ecological and evolutionary processes, but we have a poor understanding of what drives variation in key traits across diverse viruses. For lytic viruses, burst size, latent period, and genome size are primary characteristics controlling host-virus dynamics. Burst size and latent period are analogous to organismal traits of fecundity and generation time, and genome size affects the size of the virion as well as viral control of host metabolism. Here we synthesize data on
more » ... synthesize data on these traits for 75 strains of phytoplankton viruses, which play an important role in global biogeochemistry. We find that primary traits of the host (genome size, growth rate) are major ecological drivers, explaining 40-50% of variation in burst size and latent period. We analyze an eco-evolutionary model to explore mechanisms underlying these patterns. We find that burst size may be set by the host genomic resources available for viral construction, while latent period evolves to permit this maximal burst size, modulated by host metabolic rate. These results suggest that general mechanisms may underlie the evolution of diverse viruses, which will facilitate our understanding of viral community processes, ecosystem impacts, and coevolutionary dynamics.
doi:10.1101/124743 fatcat:526vza37rbbh3et73wweanl6fm