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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 647:123-133 (2020)  -  DOI:

Climate and season are associated with prevalence and distribution of trans-hemispheric blue crab reovirus (Callinectes sapidus reovirus 1)

Mingli Zhao1, Donald C. Behringer2,3, Jamie Bojko4, Andrew S. Kough5, Louis Plough6, Camila Prestes dos Santos Tavares7, Alfonso Aguilar-Perera8, Omar Shamir Reynoso9, Govind Seepersad10, Omardath Maharaj10, Matthew B. Sanders11, Daniela Carnales12, Graciela Fabiano12,13, Daniel Carnevia12, Mark A. Freeman14, Nicole A. M. Atherley14,15, Lexa D. Medero-Hernández16,18, Eric J. Schott17,*

1Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA
2University of Florida, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Gainesville, FL 32653, USA
3University of Florida, Emerging Pathogens Institute, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
4Teesside University, School of Health and Life Sciences, Middlesbrough TS1 3BA, UK
5John G. Shedd Aquarium, Haerther Center for Conservation Research, Chicago, IL 60605, USA
6University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge, MD 21613, USA
7Integrated Group of Aquaculture and Environmental Studies, Federal University of Paraná, Rua dos Funcionários 1540, Curitiba, PR 80035-050, Brazil
8Departamento de Biología Marina, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico
9National Authority for Maritime Affairs, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
10Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad, West Indies
11Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8UB, UK
12Veterinary Faculty, Fisheries Research Institute, Tomas Basañez 1160, Uruguay
13National Directorate of Aquatic Resources, Atlantic Fisheries Management Unit, La Paloma, Rocha, Uruguay
14Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, Basseterre, Saint Kitts, West Indies
15Caribaea Initiative, Université des Antilles, Pointe-á-Pitre, Guadeloupe
16Universidad Ana G. Méndez, Recinto de Cupey, San Juan, PR 00926, USA
17Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA
18Present address: Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, Tallahassee, FL 32307, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Among the many Callinectes spp. across the western Atlantic, the blue crab C. sapidus has the broadest latitudinal distribution, encompassing both tropical and temperate climates. Its life history varies latitudinally, from extended overwintering at high latitudes to year-round activity in tropical locations. Callinectes sapidus reovirus 1 (CsRV1) is a pathogenic virus first described in North Atlantic C. sapidus and has recently been detected in southern Brazil. Little information exists about CsRV1 prevalence at intervening latitudes or in overwintering blue crabs. Using a quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) method, this study investigated CsRV1 prevalence in C. sapidus across latitudinal differences in temperature and crab life history, as well as in additional Callinectes spp. and within overwintering C. sapidus. CsRV1 prevalence in C. sapidus was significantly correlated with high water temperature and blue crab winter dormancy. Prevalence of CsRV1 in C. sapidus on the mid-Atlantic coast was significantly lower in winter than in summer. CsRV1 infections were not detected in other Callinectes spp. These findings revealed that CsRV1 is present in C. sapidus across their range, but not in other Callinectes species, with prevalence associated with temperature and host life history. Such information helps us to better understand the underlying mechanisms that drive marine virus dynamics under changing environmental conditions.

KEY WORDS: CsRV1 · Disease ecology · Dormancy · Latitudinal gradient · Life history · Population density · Temperature

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Cite this article as: Zhao M, Behringer DC, Bojko J, Kough AS and others (2020) Climate and season are associated with prevalence and distribution of trans-hemispheric blue crab reovirus (Callinectes sapidus reovirus 1). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 647:123-133.

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