Rediscovering “Baculovirus-A” (Johnson, 1976): The complete genome of ‘Callinectes sapidus nudivirus’

Jamie Bojko, Erin Walters, Amy Burgess, Donald Behringer

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Abstract

Callinectes sapidus, or the ‘blue crab’, supports an extensive east-coast USA fishery and was one of the first crustacean species in which viruses were observed. Pioneering research by Dr Phyllis Johnson led to these initial discoveries, one of which included the discovery of a virus termed “Baculovirus-A”. This virus was considered a potential member of the Baculoviridae, Nimaviridae, or Nudiviridae, in which all viral members are rod-shaped dsDNA viruses found in the nucleus of their host cell.

With the availability of genomic and bioinformatic tools, such as Illumina HiSeq and assembly programs, it is now possible to assemble the genomes of viruses and gain additional genomic insight, which can shed light on viral taxonomy. Using these tools, alongside electron micrographs and histology slides, we reveal that the hepatopancreas-infecting ‘Baculovirus-A’ from Callinectes sapidus is a member of the Nudiviridae, resembling genetic and protein similarity to other crab and lobster infecting nudiviruses from the Gammanudivirus genus. Histologically, the virus causes nuclear hypertrophy as observed for other gammanuriviruses. The genome of the virus is circular, 122,436 bp in length, and encodes a predicted 98 protein coding genes, including all of the nudivirus core genes.

The prevalence of virus from across Florida, USA, is provided alongside a genomic comparison of the new viral genome against other Gammanudivirus species, revealing the average prevalence to be 2.2% and that Callinectes sapidus nudivirus is distantly similar to the recently described Carcinus maenas nudivirus from Canada.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107822
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
Volume194
Early online date27 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ALB would like to acknowledge PhD funding from Teesside University. Additionally, we acknowledge Florida Wildlife Research Institute staff who assisted in field collection and the University of Florida's UF ICBR Electron Microscopy (RRID:SCR_019146) staff, Nicole Machi, for their assistance with transmission electron microscopy sample processing.

Funding Information:
ALB would like to acknowledge PhD funding from Teesside University. Additionally, we acknowledge Florida Wildlife Research Institute staff who assisted in field collection and the University of Florida’s UF ICBR Electron Microscopy (RRID:SCR_019146) staff, Nicole Machi, for their assistance with transmission electron microscopy sample processing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s)

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