Salmon are paramount to the economy, ecology, and history of the Pacific Northwest. Viruses constitute one of the major threats to salmon health and well-being, with more than twenty known virus species that infect salmon. Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of the fall Chinook aquareovirus, a divergent member of the species Aquareovirus B within the family Reoviridae.
The virus was first found in 2014 as part of a routine adult broodstock screening program in which kidney and spleen tissue samples from healthy-appearing, adult fall Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) returning to a hatchery in Washington State produced cytopathic effects when inoculated onto a Chinook salmon embryo cell line (CHSE-214). The virus was not able to be confirmed by an RT-PCR assay using existing aquareovirus pan-species primers, and instead was identified by metagenomic next-generation sequencing. Metagenomic next-generation sequencing was used to recover the full genome and completed using 3′ RACE.
The genome of the fall Chinook aquareovirus contains 11 segments of double-stranded RNA totaling 23.3 kb, with each segment flanked by the canonical sequence termini found in the aquareoviruses. Sequence comparisons and a phylogenetic analysis revealed a nucleotide identity of 63.2% in the VP7 gene with the Green River Chinook virus, placing the new isolate in the species Aquareovirus B. A qRT-PCR assay was developed targeting the VP2, which showed rapid growth of the isolate during the initial 5 days in culture using CHSE-214 cells.
This sequence represents the first complete genome of an Aquareovirus B species. Future studies will be required to understand the potential pathogenicity and epidemiology of the fall Chinook aquareovirus.
- Digital Object Identifier: 10.1186/s12985-017-0839-9
- Source: USGS Publications Warehouse (indexId: 70190978)