Phage ecology

NAISS 2024/6-97


NAISS Medium Storage

Principal Investigator:

Karin Holmfeldt



Start Date:


End Date:


Primary Classification:

10606: Microbiology (medical to be 30109 and agricultural to be 40302)



Our research is focusing on phage (phage=virus that infect bacteria) ecology in different aquatic environments, ranging from the open ocean and surface microlayer in the the Baltic Sea and the Arctic, deep subsurface environments and freshwater systems. We investigate the phage community and their interactions with their microbial hosts using sequencing of isolated phage-bacteria model systems, metagenomic sequencing and transcriptomics. Through our research we expand our knowledge regarding previously unknown phages regarding their genetic diversity, evolution, metabolic potential and interactions with their hosts. Through long-term sampling of the viral community in the Baltic Sea we are able to investigate the temporal dynamics of both isolated phages as well as the major, uncultured part of the viral community. In addition, metagenomic and isolation of viruses in the surface microlayer compared to underlying waters provide interesting dynamics of the movement of viruses on a micro scale. Further, the metagenomes provides important information on the metabolic potential of phages in the different investigated environments: a potential that is expressed while the phages replicate within their hosts. This is further investigated within our ongoing transcriptomic experiments, where we determine the effects of viral infection on their hosts.