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New paper out: Viral association with cyanobacterial mat mortality


Our new paper out in Ecology, led by former student and postdoc Ethan Cissell, reveals the role of viruses in the natural mortality of individual cyanobacterial mats on Caribbean reefs. Observing a transect from living to decaying and dead cyanobacterial mat biomass, we found increased presence of viruses in decaying and dead tissues. Virus identities were similar in healthy live tissues to those found in dead cyanobacterial mat biomass, but virus-to-microbe ratios were elevated in decaying and dead tissues. We point to the opportunity and need to better understand the trophic role of viruses as an important component of cyanobacterial mat systems and the possibility of spatial variation in mat successional stages as drivers of their community persistence.


Cissell, EC and SJ McCoy (2023). Viral association with cyanobacterial mat community mortality. Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.4131




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