Viral community structure and functional potential vary with lifestyle and altitude in soils of Mt. Everest

Viral community structure and functional potential vary with lifestyle and altitude in soils of Mt. Everest

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Zhu, Y., Zhang, Y., Yan, S., Chen, X., & Xie, S. (2023). Viral community structure and functional potential vary with lifestyle and altitude in soils of Mt. Everest. Environment International, 178, 108055. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2023.108055

Abstract

More and more focus has been placed on the processes by which viruses interact with bacteria to influence the biogeochemical cycles. The intricacy of soil matrix and the incompleteness of databases, however, constrains the investigation on the mechanisms of soil viruses exerting ecological functions. The modification of ICTV classification system in 2021 was also a huge shock to the results of the existing studies on virome. We used viral metagenomes combined with soil properties to investigate the viral community composition and auxiliary metabolic genes (AMGs) profiles of various lifestyles in soils of Mount Everest at different altitudes. Viral lifestyles and soil nutrient levels were found to significantly influence the diversity and composition of viral communities. Temperate virus lifestyle dominated in high-altitude soils with lower level of nutrients because of its stronger survival adaptability, and the structural and functional diversity of viral communities was positively correlated with the contents of nutrients (total carbon and total nitrogen). The primary types of AMGs carried by temperate and virulent viruses differed, while a variety of genes involved in carbon metabolism highlighted the potential importance of viruses in the soil carbon cycle of Mount Everest. Moreover, the abundance of AMGs encoding carbohydrate-active enzymes had a significant and positive correlation with soil C/N ratio. Overall, these findings provide a context for further exploration on the regulatory mechanisms of viruses in carbon cycle via interactions with microorganisms.

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