Professor Debbie Lindell

Lindell Lab Summer Project

Research in the Lindell lab focuses on understanding host-virus interactions and how they impact the population dynamics, diversity, and genome evolution of host cells and the viruses that infect them. Our research focuses on the marine cyanobacteria, Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus, abundant primary producers of global importance, and the viruses that infect them. Some of the key questions we are currently addressing are: How abundant are viruses that infect cyanobacteria in different oceans?

During the summer we invite you to explore one of the following projects:

1. How do environmental conditions affect virus infection?
Viruses use susceptible host cells to proliferate, but many factors affect host-virus interactions. These include host density and host growth phase and environmental factors that affect host growth, such as temperature, light, and nutrients. Students will choose one of these factors and assess its impact on virus infection of marine cyanobacteria.
2. Characterization of evolved virus populations during an evolutionary experiment, viruses that repeatedly infected a mixture of cyanobacterial strains developed increased fitness in one of them. This project will examine viral infection characteristics that potentially contribute to this adaptation.
3. Changes in viral abundance in the ocean. Viral abundance in the ocean changes substantially with the season, depth, and latitude. Students will analyze samples from a scientific cruise in the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean to examine fluctuations in viral abundance.

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