Metagenomic identification of a nodavirus and a circular ssDNA virus in semi-purified viral nucleic acids from the hepatopancreas of healthy Farfantepenaeus duorarum shrimp
Fisheries and aquaculture are impacted sporadically by newly emerged viral diseases. In most cases, searches for a causative pathogen only occur after a serious disease has emerged. As random shotgun sequencing (metagenomics) offers opportunities to identify novel viruses preemptively, the method was tested on nucleic acids extracted from the hepatopancreas of 12 healthy northern pink shrimp Farfantepenaeus duorarum captured from the Gulf of Mexico. Among the sequences, a nodavirus (Farfantepenaeus duorarum nodavirus, FdNV) and a virus with similarities to circoviruses and cycloviruses that possess circular single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) genomes, were identified. The FdNV genome sequence was most closely related phylogenetically to nodaviruses causing white tail disease in Macrobrachium rosenbergii and muscle necrosis disease in Litopenaeus vannamei. While the circular ssDNA virus represents the third to be detected in association with a marine invertebrate, transmission trials are needed to confirm its infectivity for F. duorarum. This study highlights the potential for using metagenomic approaches in fisheries and aquaculture industries to identify new potential pathogens in asymptomatic marine invertebrates, uncharacterized pathogens causing a new disease, or multiple pathogens associated with disease syndromes.