New Publications From NIMBioS: Crops, Ticks & Ocean Viruses

Several new papers on topics related to land and sea acknowledge the support of NIMBioS.

The Ocean Viral Dynamics Working Group has published a paper, “Ocean viruses and their effects on microbial communities and biogeochemical cycles,” in F1000 Biology. The review paper describes new developments in the study of ecological effects of viruses of marine microbes. Focusing specifically on the influence of ocean viruses in shaping the size of microbial populations and in regenerating carbon and other nutrients, the paper expands on ideas and themes developed in the writing and planning stages of the Working Group, which is co-organized by Joshua Weitz, theoretical ecologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Steven Wilhelm, an environmental microbiologist at the Univ. of Tennessee. The second meeting of this Working Group is scheduled for late October.

Tick bites and their associated diseases is the focus of a review article, which appears in Zoonoses and Public Health. Co-authored by NIMBioS Associate Director for Partner Relations Graham Hickling, the paper recommends that people save any tick that bites them in order to help correctly diagnose tick-related disease that could develop. In the Southeastern states, at least, Lyme disease is not the greatest cause for concern, as it is in the Northern states, because the blacklegged ticks that carry the pathogen that causes Lyme disease are not often found south of mid-Virginia. However, there are many more tick-related diseases that could occur, especially ehrlichiosis, a tick-borne bacterial infection often associated with bites from the lone star tick, and rickettsiosis, which has seen a more than 500 percent increase of cases as reported this spring by the Tennessee Department of Health. As wildlife populations, forest habitats and weather patterns change, the distribution of tick species and their pathogens are changing, according to the paper. National Geographic ran an feature on the paper.

A new commentary on modeling approaches used in predicting crop yields appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Co-authored by NIMBioS Director Louis Gross and former NIMBioS Sabbatical Fellow Brian Beckage, the paper advocates meshing theory with data particularly in assessing crop systems in order to more effectively explicate patterns in crop growth. Gross and Beckage cite an example of this effective modeling approach described in a recent PNAS paper by Jianming Deng and other researchers at Lanzhou University.

The results produced from NIMBioS research activities are important in measuring our success. If you would like more information about how to correctly acknowledge NIMBioS in your publication, please visit To record your publication with NIMBioS, use the online reporting form.



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