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"In northern ecosystems, winter carbon loss is estimated to exceed growing season carbon uptake, primarily because of microbial decomposition. Viruses in soil alter microbial carbon cycling by affecting metabolic pathways and killing their hosts, but whether viruses are active under anoxic and sub-freezing soil conditions remains unknown. To find out, a recent study used stable isotope probing (SIP) targeted metagenomics to investigate active microbes in Alaskan Arctic peat soils under simulated winter conditions, with a particular focus on viruses and virus-host dynamics. Overall, 46 bacterial and 243 viral populations actively took up soil water labeled with ¹⁸O and respired CO₂. Active bacteria represented a small proportion of the total microbial community but were able to ferment and degrade organic matter. In contrast, a large diversity of viruses were found to be active, one-third of which were linked to active bacteria..."
The rest of the transcript, along with a link to the research itself, is available on the resource itself.