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  1. The movement of viruses in aquatic systems is rarely studied over large geographic scales. Oceanic currents, host migration, latitude-based variation in climate, and resulting changes in host life history are all potential drivers of virus connectivity, adaptation, and genetic structure. To expand our understanding of the genetic diversity of Callinectes sapidus reovirus 1 (CsRV1) across a broad spatial and host life history range of its blue crab host (Callinectes sapidus), we obtained 22 complete and 96 partial genomic sequences for CsRV1 strains from the US Atlantic coast, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and the Atlantic coast of South America. Phylogenetic analyses of CsRV1 genomes revealed that virus genotypes were divided into four major genogroups consistent with their host geographic origins. However, some CsRV1 sequences from the US mid-Atlantic shared high genetic similarity with the Gulf of Mexico genotypes, suggesting potential human-mediated movement of CsRV1 between the US mid-Atlantic and Gulf coasts. This study advances our understanding of how climate, coastal geography, host life history, and human activity drive patterns of genetic structure and diversity of viruses in marine animals and contributes to the capacity to infer broadscale host population connectivity in marine ecosystems from virus population genetic data.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2024
  2. The advancement of high throughput sequencing has greatly facilitated the exploration of viruses that infect marine hosts. For example, a number of putative virus genomes belonging to the Totiviridae family have been described in crustacean hosts. However, there has been no characterization of the most newly discovered putative viruses beyond description of their genomes. In this study, two novel double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) virus genomes were discovered in the Atlantic blue crab ( Callinectes sapidus ) and further investigated. Sequencing of both virus genomes revealed that they each encode RNA dependent RNA polymerase proteins (RdRps) with similarities to toti-like viruses. The viruses were tentatively named Callinectes sapidus toti-like virus 1 (CsTLV1) and Callinectes sapidus toti-like virus 2 (CsTLV2). Both genomes have typical elements required for −1 ribosomal frameshifting, which may induce the expression of an encoded ORF1–ORF2 (gag-pol) fusion protein. Phylogenetic analyses of CsTLV1 and CsTLV2 RdRp amino acid sequences suggested that they are members of two new genera in the family Totiviridae . The CsTLV1 and CsTLV2 genomes were detected in muscle, gill, and hepatopancreas of blue crabs by real-time reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). The presence of ~40 nm totivirus-like viral particles in all three tissues was verified by transmissionmore »electron microscopy, and pathology associated with CsTLV1 and CsTLV2 infections were observed by histology. PCR assays showed the prevalence and geographic range of these viruses, to be restricted to the northeast United States sites sampled. The two virus genomes co-occurred in almost all cases, with the CsTLV2 genome being found on its own in 8.5% cases, and the CsTLV1 genome not yet found on its own. To our knowledge, this is the first report of toti-like viruses in C. sapidus . The information reported here provides the knowledge and tools to investigate transmission and potential pathogenicity of these viruses.« less
  3. Matthijnssens, Jelle (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT This report describes the sequence of a reovirus genome, discovered in Callinectes sapidus in Brazil. The genome sequence of Callinectes sapidus reovirus 2 (CsRV2) consists of 12 segments that encode 13 putative proteins. The predicted RNA-dependent RNA polymerase is highly similar to that of Eriocheir sinensis reovirus 905, suggesting that CsRV2 also belongs to the genus Cardoreovirus .