The Virome Associated with Ballast Waters in the Great Lakes

The Virome Associated with Ballast Waters in the Great Lakes





Oral presentation

14:10 Tuesday, Jan. 27

The Virome Associated with Ballast Waters in the Great Lakesby Joan B. Rose (The United States of America), Tiong G. Aw, & Yiseul Kim

The global shipping industry exchanges 3 to 5 billion tons of water every year. Uptake of water on such a large scale can transport marine animals, viruses, bacteria, and other biological organisms across the globe. The introduction of microorganisms through ballast water is a growing concern and may contribute to invasive species. However, the microbial diversity of ballast water remains largely a “black box” and potential ecosystem impacts and public health risk are not well understood. Viruses are small infectious agents that exist through parasitic relationships with their wide range of hosts including animals, plants, and bacteria. Examples of viruses that have been identified as invasive species introduced in ballast water are the fish pathogen Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia and marine cyanophage in the Great Lakes, and Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus (ISAV) in Europe and Chile. In order to gain a better understanding of the potential for viral invasions, we characterized viral communities in ballast water from different geographical sources using high-throughput metagenomic sequencing. Metagenomic analysis of ballast water samples from the Port of Duluth-Superior revealed a viral community that was dominated by viruses that infect bacteria called bacteriophages (mainly myo, podo- and siphoviruses) and algal viruses. Understanding these passengers in ballast water will assist in developing viral controls for ballast water treatment.