Viruses Occur Incorporated in Biogenic High-Mg Calcite from Hypersaline Microbial Mats

Abstract : Using three different microscopy techniques (epifluorescence, electronic and atomic force microscopy), we showed that high-Mg calcite grains in calcifying microbial mats from the hypersaline lake " La Salada de Chiprana " , Spain, contain viruses with a diameter of 50–80 nm. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer analysis revealed that they contain nitrogen and phosphorus in a molar ratio of ~9, which is typical for viruses. Nucleic acid staining revealed that they contain DNA or RNA. As characteristic for hypersaline environments, the concentrations of free and attached viruses were high (>10 10 viruses per g of mat). In addition, we showed that acid treatment (dissolution of calcite) resulted in release of viruses into suspension and estimated that there were ~15 × 10 9 viruses per g of calcite. We suggest that virus-mineral interactions are one of the possible ways for the formation of nano-sized structures often described as " nanobacteria " and that viruses may play a role in initiating calcification.
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Rutger de Wit, Pascale Gautret, Yvan Bettarel, Cécile Roques, Christian Marlière, et al.. Viruses Occur Incorporated in Biogenic High-Mg Calcite from Hypersaline Microbial Mats. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2015, pp.1-19. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0130552⟩. ⟨insu-01171048⟩

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