Our publication by Coutinho et al.1 assembled viral genomes from marine viromes and linked these viral genomes to their potential hosts. We then investigated the relationship between the abundances of microbes (hosts) and virus-host-ratios (VHR) across samples (see Fig. 6 in ref. 1). We observed a decrease in VHR with increasing host abundance that is consistent with independent findings2,3. That result was interpreted in the discussion of our original publication as a relative decrease in lytic viral production. The decrease in VHR with increasing host abundance is consistent with the Piggyback-the-Winner (PtW) model, which proposes that lysogeny is the mechanism behind the decrease in VHR4. Al-Rasheed et al.5 criticized our interpretation arguing that the negative relationship reported for VHR and host abundance was not indicative of higher frequency of lysogeny.
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- marine metagenomes
Coutinho, F. H., Silveira, C. B., Gregoracci, G. B., Thompson, C. C., Edwards, R. A., Brussaard, C. P. D., Dutilh, B. E., & Thompson, F. L. (2019). Reply to: Caution in inferring viral strategies from abundance correlations in marine metagenomes. Nature Communications, 10, . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-08286-4