Comparative metagenomics: natural populations of induced prophages demonstrate highly unique, lower diversity viral sequences



To understand the similarities and differences between a free living viral population and its co-occurring temperate population, metagenomes of each type were prepared from the same seawater sample from Tampa Bay, FL. Libraries were prepared from extracted DNA of the ambient viruses and induced prophages from the co-occurring, viral-reduced microbial assemblage. Duplicate libraries were also prepared using the same DNA amplified by multiple displacement amplification. A non-viral-reduced, induced, amplified viral dataset from the same site in 2005 was reanalysed for temporal comparison. The induced viral metagenome was higher in identifiable virus sequences and differed from the other three datasets based on principal component, rarefaction, trinucleotide composition and contig spectrum analyses. This study indicated that induced prophages are unique and have lower overall community diversity than ambient viral populations from the same site. Both of the amplified contemporary metagenomes were enriched in single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viral sequences. Six and 16 complete, circular ssDNA viral genomes were assembled from the amplified induced and ambient libraries, respectively, mostly similar to circoviruses. The amplified ambient metagenome contained genomes similar to an RNA-DNA hybrid virus recently identified in a hot spring and to an ssDNA virus infecting the diatom Chaetoceros.