Viruses of Marine Bacteria
Marine bacteriophages are incredibly abundant in the ocean and are among main factors for bacterial mortality in most aquatic environments. Upon viral lysis, an infected cell releases replicated virions, which may infect other cells, and organic materials, which are subsequently available for heterotrophic consumption. Viral diversity is immense and bacteriophages often specialize on a relatively narrow host range. Thereby, viruses significantly contribute to the control of microbial diversity and succession in the marine environment
Population dynamics subjected to interactions between viruses and their hosts are a matter of ongoing research. Predictability can be hampered by irregularity of fluctuations arising in such systems. Further, as ecological and evolutionary time scales are less clearly separated than in most other situations, models often integrate inherently stochastic evolutionary processes, accounting for changes in immunity and infectivity. Besides this co-evolutionary arms-race, the parameters of the viral lifecycle are crucial for the ecological success of a viral species. In our group, we combine analytic and numerical methods, for a qualitative and quantitative modelling of viral dynamics. More specifically, we aim to understand the role of viruses in complex population dynamics observed in mesocosm experiments. Further, we are interested in modelling the ecological benefits from lytic and lysogenic strategies.