We were funded by NASA to study how natural populations viruses control photosynthetic sulfur bacteria. Research shows that bacteria in seawater or corals are strongly influenced by viruses. We think that the blooms of purple bacteria in anoxic lakes may also be influenced by viral communities. If correct, this would revolutionize our understanding of the conditions that promote or prevent microbial blooms. To date, most of the controls have thought to been sunlight and sulfide; however, viruses may be the hidden figures behind the persistence and activity of photosynthetic bacteria.
This project is with: Alice Bosco Santos (University of Lausanne), Cynthia Silveira (U Miami), Joe Werne (U Pittsburgh) and Molly O’Beirne (U Pittsburgh)
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