Reoviruses (family Reoviridae) infect vertebrate and invertebrate hosts with clinical effects ranging from inapparent to lethal. Here, we describe the discovery and characterization of Largemouth bass reovirus (LMBRV), found during investigation of a mortality event in wild largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) in 2015 in WI, USA. LMBRV has spherical virions of approximately 80 nm diameter containing 10 segments of linear dsRNA, aligning it with members of the genus Orthoreovirus, which infect mammals and birds, rather than members of the genus Aquareovirus, which contain 11 segments and infect teleost fishes. LMBRV is only between 24% and 68% similar at the amino acid level to its closest relative, Piscine reovirus (PRV), the putative cause of heart and skeletal muscle inflammation of farmed salmon. LMBRV expands the known diversity and host range of its lineage, which suggests that an undiscovered diversity of related pathogenic reoviruses may exist in wild fishes.
- Next-generation sequencing