Hassler Christel

Biodiversity and isolation of bacteria and viruses in contrasted regions of the Southern Ocean

Project Number: 16
Project Type: Research_Project
Project Duration: 01/01/2016 - ?
Funding Source: - ,
Project Leader: Prof. Christel Hassler
Groupe Biogéochimie marine et lacustre
Département F.-A. Forel des sciences de l'environnement et de l'eau
Université de Genève
66 Bvd Carl-Vogt
1211 Genève 4
Phone: +41 (0) 22 379 03 09 ; +41 (0) 22 379 03 00
FAX: +41 (0) 22 379 03 29
e-Mail: christel.hassler(at)unige.ch

related to this project.

Research Areas:

Virus, Bacteria, Carbon, Iron, biogeochemical cycle

The Southern Ocean ecosystem exerts a disproportional control on the global carbon cycle, playing therefore a pivotal role in the global climate system. The recognition of bacterial and viral impact on elemental transformation, recycling and export (including carbon and iron) is rapidly growing. Recently, it was demonstrated that marine viruses possess Carbohydrate Active enZymes (CAZymes) that could depolymerize complex bacterially produced carbohydrates within 96 h in solution. Considering that carbohydrates could represent up to 50% of marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) and that up to 1010 viruses per mL could be reported in the ocean, the microbial role on elemental cycling is certainly underestimated, this thus represents a promising emerging field. Whereas reports of bacterial biodiversity in the Southern Ocean do exit, viral biodiversity has not yet been properly documented. Here, we propose to (i) document viruses and bacteria biodiversity, (ii) measure their viral lysis rates (iii) isolate specimen for further work. Emphasis will be made on four Southern Ocean contrasted regions (Sub-Antarctic, Polar front, in the open ocean and at vicinity of Islands) to illustrate the variability likely encountered across this vast oceanic region. The outcome of this project resonates with a better understanding of the functioning of the Southern Ocean. The proposed research will revisit the role of microbes, transforming our view on their impact with respect to iron and carbon biogeochemistry. Novel and significant results are thus expected with relevance to numerous research fields including marine chemistry, biology, microbiology, and biogeochemical modelers but also to the general public. Live bacteria and viruses brought back will be maintained at the University of Geneva and freely shared with other scientists, likely generating variable outputs from biotechnological to environmental applications.

Last update: 4/28/17
Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2019)
Update the data of project: CH-6035

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