High abundance of viruses found in aquatic environments

Abstract

THE concentration of bacteriophages in natural unpolluted waters is in general believed to be low1,2, and they have therefore been considered ecologically unimportant3. Using a new method for quantitative enumeration, we have found up to 2.5 x IO8 virus particles per millilitre in natural waters. These concentrations indicate that virus infection may be an important factor in the ecological control of planktonic micro-organisms, and that viruses might mediate genetic exchange among bacteria in natural aquatic environments.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Farrah, S. R. in Phage Ecology (eds. Goyal, S. M., Gerba, C. P. & Bitton, G.) 125–136 (Wiley, New York, 1987).

  2. 2

    Moebus, K. in Phage Ecology (eds Goyal, S. M., Gerba, C. P. & Bitton, G.) 137–156 (Wiley, New York, 1987).

  3. 3

    Wiggins, B. A. & Alexander, M. Appl. envir. Microbiol. 49, 19–23 (1985).

  4. 4

    Frank, H. & Moebus, K. Helgoländerwiss. Meeresunters. 41, 385–414 (1987).

  5. 5

    Bradley, D. E. Bact. Rev. 31, 230–314 (1967).

  6. 6

    Fuhrman, J. A. & McManus, G. Science 224, 1257–1260 (1984).

  7. 7

    Servais, P., Billen, G. & Rego, J. V. Appl. envir. Microbiol. 49, 1448–1454 (1985).

  8. 8

    Pace, M. L. Hydrobiologia 159, 41–49 (1988).

  9. 9

    Sherr, B. F., Sherr, E. B. & Perdros-Alio, C. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., in the press.

  10. 10

    Stent, G. S. Molecular Biology of Bacterial Viruses (Freeman, San Francisco, 1963).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.