press information / news


Tiniest Catch: Scientists‘ fishing expedition reveals viral diversity in the sea

Using bacteria as bait, scientists caught wild ocean viruses and found that the genomes of viruses in natural ecosystems fall into more distinct categories than previously thought. The results are published by scientists of the University of Arizona in the current issue of the scientific journal ‘Nature ‘. First author, Dr. Li Deng, is now a research scientist at the Institute of Groundwater Ecology (IGOE) at Helmholtz Zentrum München.

Dr. Li Deng (Source: private)

To the press release by University of Arizona

Deng joined the working group Microbial Ecology at Helmholtz Zentrum München in 2013 to initiate the research topic “role of viruses in groundwater ecosystems”.

Further Information

Original publication:

Deng, L. et al. (2014), Viral tagging reveals discrete populations in Synechococcus viral genome sequence space, Nature, doi: doi:10.1038/nature13459

Link to publication

As German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes mellitus and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle. The Helmholtz Zentrum München has about 2,200 staff members and is headquartered in Neuherberg in the north of Munich. Helmholtz Zentrum München is a member of the Helmholtz Association, a community of 18 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of about 34,000 staff members.

The Institute of Groundwater Ecology (IGOE) is concerned with the processes involved in the degradation and proliferation of pollutants in groundwater and develops ecological criteria for the evaluation of groundwater fauna. Its main aim is to research the microbial processes that lead to self-cleaning of groundwater and thus help to protect our most important source of drinking water. IGOE is part of the Department of Environmental Sciences.

Scientific contact at Helmholtz Zentrum München

Dr. Li Deng, Institute for Groundwater Ecology, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH), Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany, Phone: +49-89-3187-2563 -