CORDIS
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CORDIS

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Virus inhibition of oceanic CO2 fixation

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 883551

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 January 2021

  • End date

    31 December 2025

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 499 997,50

  • EU contribution

    € 2 499 997,50

Hosted by:

THE UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK

United Kingdom

Objective

Around half of the carbon dioxide (CO2) fixation on Earth occurs in marine systems, environments dominated by the cyanobacterial genera Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus. Viruses infecting these organisms (cyanophages) divert the flow of an estimated 20% of globally fixed CO2. Intriguingly, my lab has recently shown that cyanophage can directly inhibit host CO2 fixation capacity whilst at the same time carry genes essential for the light-driven reactions of photosynthesis. VirFix will elucidate the molecular basis of how viruses inhibit host CO2 fixation, which I hypothesise involves a novel protein based mechanism, and directly assess CO2 fixation rates in viral infected cells requiring the development of innovative approaches to both manipulate cyanophage genomes and enumerate viral infected cells in natural seawater samples. By focusing on how viral infection controls CO2 fixation under environmentally relevant light and nutrient conditions, Virfix will tackle novel concepts associated with elemental stoichiometry and pseudolysogeny and provide host mortality estimates which will directly inform and refine global primary production ecosystem models. In so doing, I will contribute new biological theory into how CO2 fixation is controlled at the global scale. Thus, I will be able to determine how viruses modulate primary production in organisms that are the most abundant phototrophs on the planet and whose abundance is expected to increase by 15-30% at the end of the 21st century due to global warming. By building innovative research directions on a solid foundation of host physiology and genomics I will contribute new understanding of photosynthesis and metabolism as subverted by cyanophage. Together, the proposed work has crucial implications for our understanding of marine carbon cycling and ultimately the planet’s climate and will provide novel genetic approaches for manipulating photosynthesis allowing for their potential exploitation in energy generation.

Host institution

THE UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK

Address

Kirby Corner Road - University House
Cv4 8uw Coventry

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 2 499 997,50

Beneficiaries (1)

THE UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 2 499 997,50

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 883551

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 January 2021

  • End date

    31 December 2025

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 499 997,50

  • EU contribution

    € 2 499 997,50

Hosted by:

THE UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK

United Kingdom