A simple and efficient method for concentration of ocean viruses by chemical flocculation

Seth G. John, Carolina B. Mendez, Li Deng, Bonnie Poulos, Anne Kathryn M. Kauffman, Suzanne Kern, Jennifer Brum, Martin F. Polz, Edward A. Boyle, Matthew B. Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Ocean viruses alter ecosystems through host mortality, horizontal gene transfer and by facilitating remineralization of limiting nutrients. However, the study of wild viral populations is limited by inefficient and unreliable concentration techniques. Here, we develop a new technique to recover viruses from natural waters using iron-based flocculation and large-pore-size filtration, followed by resuspension of virus-containing precipitates in a pH 6 buffer. Recovered viruses are amenable to gene sequencing, and a variable proportion of phages, depending upon the phage, retain their infectivity when recovered. This Fe-based virus flocculation, filtration and resuspension method (FFR) is efficient (>90% recovery), reliable, inexpensive and adaptable to many aspects of marine viral ecology and genomics research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-202
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'A simple and efficient method for concentration of ocean viruses by chemical flocculation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this