Speaker: Nicole Frankenberg-Dinkel (TU Kaiserslautern)
Host: Bastian Molitor
Venue: 3M07, GUZ
Viruses and bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) are the most abundant biological entities on our planet. In the marine environment, cyanophages (viruses infecting cyanobacteria of the genera Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus) have significant impact on ecology, evolution and biogeochemical processes. Their self-replication relies on the molecular machinery of a host bacterium to generate viral progeny. Bacteriophages may have a lysogenic or lytic cycle, the latter ultimately resulting in the lysis of the host cell. Infection by a lytic phage transforms the host bacterium into a so-called virocell. The virocell represents the intracellular state of the phage’s life cycle whose sole function is to produce virions. Phage infection induces a dramatic change in various host metabolic pathways, which is further expanded by the introduction of auxiliary metabolic genes (AMGs). Cyanophage encoded AMGs are often related to photosynthesis and are suggested to modulate und supplement the host bacterium’s metabolism to satisfy the elevated metabolic demand. Within this seminar I will talk about the function of selected photosynthesis related AMG and discuss their potential role during infection of a host cyanobacterium.