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A temporal and spatial investigation of cyanophage abundance in the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea

  • Andrew D. Millard (a1) and Nicholas H. Mann (a1)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the abundance of cyanophages over an annual cycle in the Red Sea from the period April 1999 to December 1999 at a range of depths. Cyanophage numbers from 71 water samples were determined by the use of plaque assays using four different Synechococcus strains. The results indicate that cyanophage are found throughout the water column from surface waters to depths of 150 m, with a discrete maximum in the number of cyanophages in the summer months of July, August and September at a depth of 30 m. Eighty-seven cyanophages were isolated and characterized in terms of host range, genome size and possession of a myoviral portal vertex gene. Cyanophages were found to infect multiple strains of Synechococcus from different phylogenetic clades. The genome sizes of cyanophages were also found to be bigger than previously estimated.

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A temporal and spatial investigation of cyanophage abundance in the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea

  • Andrew D. Millard (a1) and Nicholas H. Mann (a1)

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