Temporal dynamics of uncultured viruses: a new dimension in viral diversity

Ksenia Arkhipova, Timofey Skvortsov, John Quinn, John McGrath, Christopher Allen, Bas Dutilh, Yvonne R McElarney, Leonid Kulakov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
232 Downloads (Pure)


Recent work has vastly expanded the known viral genomic sequence space, but the seasonal dynamics of viral populations at the genome level remain unexplored. Here we followed the viral community in a freshwater lake for one year using genome-resolved viral metagenomics, combined with detailed analyses of the viral community structure, associated bacterial populations, and environmental variables. We reconstructed 8,950 complete and partial viral genomes, the majority of which were not persistent in the lake throughout the year, but instead continuously succeeded each other. Temporal analysis of 732 viral genus-level clusters demonstrated that one fifth were undetectable at specific periods of the year. Based on host predictions for a subset of reconstructed viral genomes, we for the first time reveal three distinct patterns of host-pathogen dynamics, where the viruses may peak before, during, or after the peak in their host’s abundance, providing new possibilities for modelling of their interactions. Time-series metagenomics opens up a new dimension in viral profiling, which is essential to understand the full scale of viral diversity and evolution, and the ecological roles of these important players in the global ecosystem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199
JournalThe ISME Journal
Issue number2018
Early online date13 Oct 2017
Publication statusEarly online date - 13 Oct 2017


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