Elevated production of dimethylsulfide resulting from viral infection of cultures of Phaeocystis pouchetii
Limnol. Oceanogr., 43(6), 1998, 1389-1393 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.19126.96.36.1999
ABSTRACT: The effects of viral lysis on dimethyl sulfide (DMS) and particulate and dissolved dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) concentrations were studied in batch cultures of Phaeocystis pouchetii infected with a strain-specific viral isolate. After 20 h, DMS concentration had increased by fourfold over the levels observed in the control cultures, and this increased to eightfold 45 h after addition of viral particles. The results suggest that viral lysis of DMSP-containing phytoplankton cells should be considered alongside autolysis, grazing, and bacterial activity as a process that can influence DMS concentrations in seawater. Further research will be necessary to determine the importance of viruses in the biogeochemical DMS cycle in the natural environment.