Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Steven W. Wilhelm

Committee Members

Gary Sayler, Lee Cooper, Todd Reynolds, David A. Hutchins


Viral lysis is responsible for a significant fraction of bacterioplankton mortality in marine systems. This work shows that viral lysis of both heterotrophic bacterial and autotrophic cyanobacterial plankton releases iron (Fe) at a greater rate than is released from unlysed cells. These studies also show that the Fe released is bound to organic ligands, these ligands are not siderophores, and that these ligands have Fe binding stability constants similar to organic ligands found in seawater. Further, these studies have shown Fe released via viral lysis to be highly bioavailable to a range of model marine plankton and may potentially satisfy the demands of primary producers in Fe limited marine systems.

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Included in

Microbiology Commons