Metagenomic characterisation of the viral community of lough neagh, the largest freshwater lake in Ireland

Timofey Skvortsov, Colin De Leeuwe, John P. Quinn, John W. McGrath, Christopher C R Allen, Yvonne McElarney, Catherine Watson, Ksenia Arkhipova, Rob Lavigne, Leonid A. Kulakov

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39 Citations (Scopus)
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Lough Neagh is the largest and the most economically important lake in Ireland. It is also one of the most nutrient rich amongst the world's major lakes. In this study, 16S rRNA analysis of total metagenomic DNA from the water column of Lough Neagh has revealed a high proportion of Cyanobacteria and low levels of Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Firmicutes. The planktonic virome of Lough Neagh has been sequenced and 2,298,791 2×300 bp Illumina reads analysed. Comparison with previously characterised lakes demonstrates that the Lough Neagh viral community has the highest level of sequence diversity. Only about 15% of reads had homologs in the RefSeq database and tailed bacteriophages (Caudovirales) were identified as a major grouping. Within the Caudovirales, the Podoviridae and Siphoviridae were the two most dominant families (34.3% and 32.8% of the reads with sequence homology to the RefSeq database), while ssDNA bacteriophages constituted less than 1% of the virome. Putative cyanophages were found to be abundant. 66,450 viral contigs were assembled with the largest one being 58,805 bp; its existence, and that of another 34,467 bp contig, in the water column was confirmed. Analysis of the contigs confirmed the high abundance of cyanophages in the water column.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0150361
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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