Drivers of virus community assembly
Plantago lanceolata population in the Åland Islands, Finland.© Maija Jokinen
Viruses are present in every ecosystem where they have susceptible hosts. In recent years, largely due to advancements in metagenomic studies, there has been a rapid increase in the discovery of novel virus species. This work has revealed the high virus diversity in wild, uncultured environments, and the tremendous complexity of virus communities, even within a single host individual. Despite this, the drivers of virus community assembly are still poorly understood. Studying these mechanisms is key for understanding virus ecology and disease dynamics in natural systems. In my thesis work I use Plantago lanceolata and its associated virus community as my study species, to try to understand how virus coinfection and host genotype affect virus community assembly.