DAO 94:179-187 (2011)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02335

Ultrastructural and sequence characterization of Penaeus vannamei nodavirus (PvNV) from Belize

Kathy F. J. Tang*, Carlos R. Pantoja, Rita M. Redman, Solangel A. Navarro, Donald V. Lightner

Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA

ABSTRACT: The Penaeus vannamei nodavirus (PvNV), which causes muscle necrosis in Penaeus vannamei from Belize, was identified in 2005. Infected shrimp show clinical signs of white, opaque lesions in the tail muscle. Under transmission electron microscopy, the infected cells exhibit increases in various organelles, including mitochondria, Golgi stacks, and rough endoplasmic reticulum. Cytoplasmic inclusions containing para-crystalline arrays of virions were visualized. The viral particle is spherical in shape and 19 to 27 nm in diameter. A cDNA library was constructed from total RNA extracted from infected shrimp. Through nucleotide sequencing from the cDNA clones and northern blot hybridization, the PvNV genome was shown to consist of 2 segments: RNA1 (3111 bp) and RNA2 (1183 bp). RNA1 contains 2 overlapped open reading frames (ORF A and B), which may encode a RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and a B2 protein, respectively. RNA2 contains a single ORF that may encode the viral capsid protein. Sequence analyses showed the presence of 4 RdRp characteristic motifs and 2 conserved domains (RNA-binding B2 protein and viral coat protein) in the PvNV genome. Phylo­genetic analysis based on the translated amino acid sequence of the RdRp reveals that PvNV is a member of the genus Alphanodavirus and closely related to Macrobrachium rosenbergii nodavirus (MrNV). In a study investigating potential PvNV vectors, we monitored the presence of PvNV by RT‑PCR in seabird feces and various aquatic organisms collected around a shrimp farm in Belize. PvNV was detected in mosquitofish, seabird feces, barnacles, and zooplankton, suggesting that PvNV can be spread via these carriers.


KEY WORDS: Penaeus vannamei nodavirus · PvNV · Ultrastructure · Genomic sequencing · Mechanical carriers


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Cite this article as: Tang KFJ, Pantoja CR, Redman RM, Navarro SA, Lightner DV (2011) Ultrastructural and sequence characterization of Penaeus vannamei nodavirus (PvNV) from Belize. Dis Aquat Org 94:179-187. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02335

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