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Antarctic Circumpolar Expedition - a new project to investigate marine viruses and bacteria. The project was announced in Bern on the 18th April in the same time as the launch of the Swiss Polar Institute.

The study of Antarctic viruses and bacteria is moving one step further in the Marine and Lake Biogeochemistry Group. The project “Biodiversity and isolation of bacteria and viruses in contrasted regions of the Southern Ocean” is one of the four Swiss project selected in the framework of the Antarctic Circumpolar Expedition.



The Southern Ocean is key for the global carbon cycle and hence the regulation of our climate. However, in this region the fate of carbon in surface waters is largely influenced by iron which act as a limiting nutrient. Here we propose to revisit the role of bacteria and viruses on elemental transformations, recycling and export by documenting bacterial and viral biodiversity and exploring viruses ecology. Our effort will contribute to the first report of viral biodiversity from contrasted regions around the South Pole. We will also bring live bacteria and viruses back to our home laboratory to explore the interactions between bacteria, dissolved organic matter and viruses and their impact for carbon and iron biogeochemistry. This new and unique collection of bacterial and viral strains will be freely shared with the scientific community to stimulate Antarctic research further, likely generating outputs beyond environmental and marine science per se.

19 Apr 2016

News 2016