This proposal seeks to study viruses and microbes in nearly unexplored extreme environments including hydrothermal vents, glacial sea ice, and modern and ancient sea brines. The team will develop catalogs of which viruses are there, and use these to explore their genomes to identify genes the viruses have ‘stolen’ to augment a key microbial metabolism during infection. These have large ecosystem consequences, but should not be harmful in any way to humans at any stage of the process.
Proposer: Matt Sullivan, The Ohio State University
Proposal: Elucidating viral “dark matter” and biogeochemical impacts in extreme environments