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Revisiting the Classification of Percid Perhabdoviruses Using New Full-Length Genomes

Abstract : Perhabdoviruses are a threat to some freshwater fish species raised in aquaculture farms in Europe. Although the genetic diversity of these viruses is suspected to be high, the classification of isolates is still in its infancy, with just one full-length genome available and only partial sequences for a limited number of others. Here, we characterized a series of viruses isolated from percids in France from 1999 to 2009 by sequencing the nucleoprotein (N) gene. Four main clusters were distinguished, all related at varying levels of similarity to one of the two already-recognized species, namely Perch perhabdovirus and Sea trout perhabdovirus. Furthermore, we obtained the complete genome of five isolates, including one belonging to Sea trout rhabdovirus. The analysis of the complete L genes and the concatenated open reading frames confirmed the existence of four main genetic clusters, sharing 69 to 74% similarity. We propose the assignation of all these viral isolates into four species, including two new ones: Perch perhabdovirus 1, Perch perhabdovirus 2, Sea trout perhabdovirus 1 and Sea trout perhabdovirus 2. In addition, we developed new primers to readily amplify specific portions of the N gene of any isolate of each species by conventional PCR. The presence of such genetically diverse viruses in France is likely due to divergent viral populations maintained in the wild and then introduced to experimental facilities or farms, as well as via trade between farms across the European continent. It is now urgent to improve the identification tools for this large group of viruses to prevent their unchecked dissemination.
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Submitted on : Saturday, January 16, 2021 - 5:20:11 PM
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Laurane Pallandre, Dongsheng Luo, Claudette Feuvrier, François Lieffrig, Françoise Pozet, et al.. Revisiting the Classification of Percid Perhabdoviruses Using New Full-Length Genomes. Viruses, MDPI, 2020, 12 (6), pp.649. ⟨10.3390/v12060649⟩. ⟨pasteur-03112382⟩

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