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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 37:107-114 (1999)  -  doi:10.3354/dao037107

Molecular characterization of a ranavirus isolated from largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides

Jinghe Mao1, Jun Wang1, Giovina D. Chinchar2, V. Gregory Chinchar1,*

1Department of Microbiology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi 39216, USA
2Division of Natural Sciences, Tougaloo College, Jackson, Mississippi 39174, USA
*Addressee for correspondence. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: An iridovirus, isolated from largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides following a die-off among adult fish and provisionally designated largemouth bass virus (LMBV), was characterized by analysis of viral protein synthesis in infected cells, viral DNA restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP), and sequence determination of the major capsid protein and viral DNA methyltransferase genes. All 3 approaches yielded results consistent with the suggestion that LMBV was a member of the genus Ranavirus. Moreover, LMBV was nearly identical to 2 isolates from Southeast Asia which had been previously detected in imported ornamental fish. It remains to be determined whether infection of largemouth bass resulted from exposure to an imported virus, or whether the presence of similar viruses in southeast Asia and the southeastern United States indicates that iridovirus species are not geographically limited as suggested earlier, but rather globally distributed.

KEY WORDS: Largemouth bass · Micropterus salmoides · Ranavirus · Iridovirus · Fish die-off · Viral taxonomy

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