Viral Ecology in Marine Environments: Sediments, Seeps, Deep ocean
Circular packing visualization of binned viral contigs (red) found in a marine sediment metagenome
Viruses outnumber bacteria ten to one in the ocean and constitute the largest genetic pool in marine environments. While we know that viruses play an important role in microbial community structure and geochemical cycling in the surface ocean, we have very little information on their activity in marine sediment environments.
The Orphan Lab uses microscopy, sequencing techniques, stable isotope probing, and click chemistry to better constrain viral diversity, rates of viral production, and the viral impact on microbial communities and geochemical cycles in the globally important ecosystem of the methane seep.