|Dinoflagellates, diatoms and their viruses|In: Journal of Microbiology. Microbiological Society of Korea: Seoul. ISSN 1225-8873, more
Diatoms; Dinoflagellates; Viruses; Marine
algal viruses, dinoflagellate, diatom, Heterocapsa circularisquama, Rhizosolenia setigera, Chaetoceros spp., HcV, HcRNAV, RsRNAV, CsNIV, CdebDNAV
Since the first discovery of the very high virus abundance in marine environments, a number of researchers were fascinated with the world of “marine viruses”, which had previously been mostly overlooked in studies on marine ecosystems. In the present paper, the possible role of viruses infecting marine eukaryotic microalgae is enlightened, especially summarizing the most up-to-the-minute information of marine viruses infecting bloom-forming dinoflagellates and diatoms. To author’s knowledge, ~40 viruses infecting marine eukaryotic algae have been isolated and characterized to different extents. Among them, a double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) virus “HcV” and a single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) virus “HcRNAV” are the only dinoflagellate-infecting (lytic) viruses that were made into culture; their hosts are a bivalve-killing dinoflagellate Heterocapsa circularisquama. In this article, ecological relationship between H. circularisquama and its viruses is focused. On the other hand, several diatom-infecting viruses were recently isolated and partially characterized; among them, one is infectious to a pen-shaped bloom-forming diatom species Rhizosolenia setigera; some viruses are infectious to genus Chaetoceros which is one of the most abundant and diverse diatom group. Although the ecological relationships between diatoms and their viruses have not been sufficiently elucidated, viral infection is considered to be one of the significant factors affecting dynamics of diatoms in nature. Besides, both the dinoflagellate-infecting viruses and diatom-infecting viruses are so unique from the viewpoint of virus taxonomy; they are remarkably different from any other viruses ever reported. Studies on these viruses lead to an idea that ocean may be a treasury of novel viruses equipped with fascinating functions and ecological roles.