Antarctic Science



Review

Viruses in Antarctic ecosystems


DAVID A. PEARCE a1 and WILLIAM H. WILSON a2a3
a1 British Antarctic Survey, NERC, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 OET, UK, dpearce@bas.ac.uk
a2 Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, The Hoe, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK
a3 Marine Biological Association, Citadel Hill, Plymouth PL1 2PB, UK

Abstract

This review seeks to highlight the potential importance of viruses in Antarctic ecosystems and describe the limited scope of Antarctic virus studies to date, including studies of marine, terrestrial and freshwater communities. Although much of the existing work focuses on the microbial community, there are also studies of virus infection in Antarctic animal and plant populations. We describe methodologies available for the study of viral ecology in the field and in calling for a more intensive research effort discuss how microbial ecology might benefit from the study of viruses in Antarctic ecosystems.

(Received August 8 2002)
(Accepted April 22 2003)


Key Words: bacterioplankton; biodiversity; community structure; virioplankton; virus.


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