Marine DNA Viral Macro- and Microdiversity from Pole to Pole

© François Aurat / Fondation Tara Océan

Tara Oceans

Ann C Gregory, Ahmed A Zayed, Nádia Conceição-Neto, Ben Temperton, Ben Bolduc, Adriana Alberti, Mathieu Ardyna, Ksenia Arkhipova, Margaux Carmichael, Corinne Cruaud, Céline Dimier, Guillermo Domínguez-Huerta, Joannie Ferland, Stefanie Kandels-Lewis, Yunxiao Liu, Claudie Marec, Stéphane Pesant, Marc Picheral, Sergey Pisarev, Julie Poulain, Jean-Éric Tremblay, Dean Vik, Tara Oceans coordinators, Marcel Babin, Chris Bowler, Alexander I Culley, Colomban de Vargas, Bas E Dutilh, Daniele Iudicone, Lee Karp-Boss, Simon Roux, Shinichi Sunagawa, Patrick Wincker, & Matthew B Sullivan.

Published on 25 Avril 2019 - View online


- Metagenomic assembly of 145 marine viromes uncovered 195,728 viral populations

- Read mapping revealed discrete sequence boundaries among >99% viral populations

- Viral communities separated into five distinct ecological zones in the global ocean

- Viral macro- and microdiversity did not follow the latitudinal diversity gradient


Microbes drive most ecosystems and are modulated by viruses that impact their lifespan, gene flow, and metabolic outputs. However, ecosystem-level impacts of viral community diversity remain difficult to assess due to classification issues and few reference genomes. Here, we establish an ∼12-fold expanded global ocean DNA virome dataset of 195,728 viral populations, now including the Arctic Ocean, and validate that these populations form discrete genotypic clusters. Meta-community analyses revealed five ecological zones throughout the global ocean, including two distinct Arctic regions. Across the zones, local and global patterns and drivers in viral community diversity were established for both macrodiversity (inter-population diversity) and microdiversity (intra-population genetic variation). These patterns sometimes, but not always, paralleled those from macro-organisms and revealed temperate and tropical surface waters and the Arctic as biodiversity hotspots and mechanistic hypotheses to explain them. Such further understanding of ocean viruses is critical for broader inclusion in ecosystem models.