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Marine microbiology

New Uni Research BIO project

Viruses on the menu?

An international research team led by Uni Research Environment and the University of Bergen will explore how filter-feeding zooplankton can trap, ingest, disperse and potentially preserve virus particles in the marine environment.

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Oikopleura dioica
Oikopleura dioica
Photo:
Oikopleura dioica

During this three year project, funded by the Research Council of Norway (project number 275710/F20, "VIROVAC: filter-feeding mesozooplankton as uncharted accomplices in marine virus ecology"), we will use a combination of small-scale laboratory experiments and field campaigns. Our model zooplanktonic organism is the larvacean Oikopleura dioica, which will be tested for the ability to remove a wide range of virus particle types and sizes from seawater during feeding. Our goal is to describe and delimit the nature of this trophic interaction, and also to assess the potential for this interaction to affect virus ecology in the ocean