Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Understanding Viruses In Lake Superior -- Effects Of Ultraviolet Light Probed

Date:
January 18, 1999
Source:
Minnesota Sea Grant
Summary:
For the first time, scientists are looking at the abundance of viruses in one of the Great Lakes. Minnesota Sea Grant researchers Randall Hicks, associate professor and head of the University of Minnesota Duluth's (UMD) Department of Biology, and Mark Tapper, a UMD graduate student, recently completed a study that began to address how global climate change may affect viruses in the waters of Lake Superior. Because of the difficulty of identifying and counting these microscopic particles, little is known about the abundance of viruses or how various environmental factors affect them.

For the first time, scientists are looking at the abundance of viruses in one of the Great Lakes. Minnesota Sea Grant researchers Randall Hicks, associate professor and head of the University of Minnesota Duluth's (UMD) Department of Biology, and Mark Tapper, a UMD graduate student, recently completed a study that began to address how global climate change may affect viruses in the waters of Lake Superior. Because of the difficulty of identifying and counting these microscopic particles, little is known about the abundance of viruses or how various environmental factors affect them.

Related Articles


"We wanted to determine how many dormant viruses infect bacteria in the lake so we would have some idea of what the potential problems might be if UV light does increase as a result of thinning of the ozone layer," said Hicks. "Some types of UV light can damage DNA and can also cause dormant viruses to become active. If there are many dormant viruses, we might see major impacts on bacterial populations and, in turn, nutrient cycling and food webs," said Hicks.

Hicks and Tapper collected water samples from Lake Superior in the spring, summer, and fall of 1993, then counted the number of free viruses in the water samples. They also exposed other water samples to UV light in order to activate and count dormant viruses.

They concluded that less than 7.5 percent of the bacteria in the samples contained dormant viruses. Even if all these dormant viruses were triggered, this level of infection does not appear to be a significant threat to bacterial populations.

But that doesn't mean the research is done. As Hicks explained, "We're better able to see and recognize more viruses now that we have better technology for observing them." So this project was just a start. To build a more complete and accurate picture of the universe of aquatic bacteria and their viruses, researchers will have to study other freshwater lakes as well as the oceans. This Sea Grant-funded research has already stimulated similar studies in coastal oceans in other parts of the world.

The results of this research project were published in the January 1998 issue of the journal "Limnology and Oceanography." To find out more, you can order a reprint of the article, "Temperate Viruses And Lysogeny In Lake Superior Bacterioplankton," from Minnesota Sea Grant by calling 218.726.6191.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Minnesota Sea Grant. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Minnesota Sea Grant. "Understanding Viruses In Lake Superior -- Effects Of Ultraviolet Light Probed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990118080650.htm>.
Minnesota Sea Grant. (1999, January 18). Understanding Viruses In Lake Superior -- Effects Of Ultraviolet Light Probed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990118080650.htm
Minnesota Sea Grant. "Understanding Viruses In Lake Superior -- Effects Of Ultraviolet Light Probed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990118080650.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins