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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 117:165-170 (2015)  -  DOI:

Panulirus argus virus 1 detected in oceanic postlarvae of Caribbean spiny lobster: implications for disease dispersal

Enrique Lozano-Álvarez1,*, Patricia Briones-Fourzán1, Juan Pablo Huchin-Mian2, Iris Segura-García1, Juan Pablo Ek-Huchim2, Mónica Améndola-Pimenta2, Rossanna Rodríguez-Canul

1Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Unidad Académica de Sistemas Arrecifales, Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, 77580 México
2Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional-Unidad Mérida, Yucatán, 97310 México
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Panulirus argus virus 1 (PaV1), a pathogenic virus that specifically attacks Caribbean spiny lobsters Panulirus argus, was recently detected in newly settled postlarvae of P. argus. As PaV1 appears not to be vertically transmitted, infected postlarvae likely acquire PaV1 from the water, but whether this can occur in oceanic waters where the planktonic larvae (phyllosomata) metamorphose into nektonic postlarvae remains unknown. Late-stage phyllosomata and postlarvae of P. argus were collected at distances of 2 to 100 km from the Caribbean coast of Mexico in 2 oceanographic cruises. Most postlarvae were caught in the upper meter of water, usually along with masses of floating Sargassum algae. A PaV1-PCR assay was used to test 169 phyllosomata (stages VI-X) and 239 postlarvae. All phyllosomata tested negative, but 2 postlarvae, 1 from each cruise, tested positive for PaV1. These postlarvae were collected at 55 and 48 km offshore over depths of 850 and 1800 m, respectively, suggesting that postlarvae can acquire PaV1 in offshore waters. We hypothesize that floating Sargassum may be an environmental reservoir for PaV1. The PaV1 allele (460 pb) found in an infected postlarva was more closely related to PaV1 alleles found in lobsters from Puerto Rico than in lobsters from any other location (including Mexico), suggesting high gene flow and long-distance dispersal of PaV1, consistent with previous studies of high genetic connectivity across the Caribbean.

KEY WORDS: PaV1 · Disease connectivity · Panulirus argus · PCR assays · Puerulus · Viral disease · Sargassum

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Cite this article as: Lozano-Álvarez E, Briones-Fourzán P, Huchin-Mian JP, Segura-García I, Ek-Huchim JP, Améndola-Pimenta M, Rodríguez-Canul R (2015) Panulirus argus virus 1 detected in oceanic postlarvae of Caribbean spiny lobster: implications for disease dispersal. Dis Aquat Org 117:165-170.

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