AME prepress abstract  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01856

Quantifying aquatic viral community change associated with stormwater runoff in a wet retention pond using metagenomic time series data

Jasmin C. Green, Faraz Rahman, Matthew A. Saxton, Kurt E. Williamson*

*Email: kewilliamson@wm.edu

ABSTRACT: In the United States, wet retention ponds are a common best management practice for controlling peak stormwater flows from impervious surfaces. Currently, studies evaluating the microbial component of these landscape features exclude community response to natural disturbances. We conducted a series of metagenomic analyses to quantify viral community change in a wet retention pond over the course of a storm event, and to explore two potential sources and reservoirs of water column viral diversity: soil in the surrounding pond watershed and pond sediments. Our results indicate that the viral communities of different sample types (soil, sediment, and water) are distinct, and that watershed soils and sediments do not appear to be primary sources of novel viral genotypes detected in the pond water column following a storm event. Though it is apparent that rapid and dramatic change in viral community composition occurs in response to the input of stormwater runoff – as evidenced by a sharp rise in richness, an increase in functional diversity, and increasing dissimilarity of water column viromes over time – the source of this change could not be determined. This study demonstrates the need for additional time-series metagenomic explorations to gain a complete picture of viral community dynamics in aquatic environments.