570 Marine Microbial Interactions

An exciting area of research in ocean science is the role of viruses in controlling their host populations, recycling nutrients and other elements, and facilitating gene exchange for improved host fitness in the environment.  Together, in seminar-discussion mode, we will explore both the history and current state-of-the-art of research on marine bacteriophage, archaeaphage, eukaryotic viruses, and other gene-transferring agents or mechanisms in the ocean.  Weekly topics will be developed at the start of the course to accommodate student interests. The instructor (Jody Deming, with input from John Baross and Gabrielle Rocap) will provide relevant overviews of the history of research on marine viruses and specific guidance towards recent work, while students will explore a topic of their choosing in depth.  Each student will prepare a written annotated bibliography on their topic, assign a key paper for all to read in advance, give a class presentation on the topic, and lead a discussion of it and the assigned paper.  The goal is to emerge with a thorough and current understanding of the role of marine viruses in the ocean, complete with a set of annotated references on key topics.

Prerequisites: OCEAN 532 or permission of instructor