Postdoctoral fellow Demina Tatiana

143200 €

Virus-host interactions in thawing permafrost

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Kolmivuotinen

Due to the rise of global temperatures, the permafrost is thawing fast, providing carbon and nutrients for activated microbes. Through microbial metabolism, significant quantities of carbon dioxide and methane are released into the atmosphere, which in turn contributes to the global climate change. Currently, the extent of possible permafrost feedback to global warming is poorly understood. The overall aim of this project is to estimate the impact of viruses on global cycling via their interactions with host microbes in thawing permafrost. A specific focus is on viruses of methanogenic archaea, as these archaea are sole biological producers of methane and thus key players in global carbon cycling. I will analyse viral diversity in uniquely available metagenomic and metatransriptomic datasets derived from Arctic permafrost, sampled at various locations and time points. To obtain more information about viruses of methanogenic archaea, for the first time, I will isolate such viruses from permafrost. The project is planned for four years and includes my research visits to Pushchino, Moscow region, Russia, and Utrecht University, the Netherlands. My international collaborators are top experts in bioinformatics and microbial ecology. The proposed project will provide insights into virus-host interactions in permafrost, helping to predict microbial feedback to the global climate change.