Caister Academic Press

Viral metagenomics and the regulation of prokaryotic communities

Fernando Santos and Josefa Antón
from: Metagenomics: Current Innovations and Future Trends (Edited by: Diana Marco). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2011)


Since the publication of the first genomic analysis of a marine uncultured viral community in 2002, the analysis of the viral metagenomes from a wide variety of natural environments has provided a wealth of information on the diversity, abundance and metabolic capabilities of viruses. Here, we summarize how such studies have shed light into the control than viruses exert on prokaryotic communities. We have focused on three main aspects of this control: (i) what metagenomes tell about the dynamics of virus-host interaction and how the well established 'kill-the-winner' theory fits into new metagenomic data; (ii) which picture the analysis of viral metagenomes provides on the extend of lysogeny in the microbial communities; and (iii) which are the new findings on the role of viruses as gene transfer agents. Finally, we give some hints on the analysis of expression of virome genes ("metavirotranscriptomes") and which are, in our opinion, the likely future trends in the "omics" analysis of viruses in nature read more ...
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