Affordable Access

Complete Genome Sequence of the Shrimp White Spot Bacilliform Virus

  • Feng Yang
  • Jun He
  • Xionghui Lin
  • Qin Li
  • Deng Pan
  • Xiaobo Zhang
  • Xun Xu
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2001
  • Biology


We report the first complete genome sequence of a marine invertebrate virus. White spot bacilliform virus (WSBV; or white spot syndrome virus) is a major shrimp pathogen with a high mortality rate and a wide host range. Its double-stranded circular DNA genome of 305,107 bp contains 181 open reading frames (ORFs). Nine homologous regions containing 47 repeated minifragments that include direct repeats, atypical inverted repeat sequences, and imperfect palindromes were identified. This is the largest animal virus that has been completely sequenced. Although WSBV is morphologically similar to insect baculovirus, the two viruses are not detectably related at the amino acid level. Rather, some WSBV genes are more homologous to eukaryotic genes than viral genes. In fact, sequence analysis indicates that WSBV differs from all known viruses, although a few genes display a weak homology to herpesvirus genes. Most of the ORFs encode proteins that bear no homology to any known proteins, either suggesting that WSBV represents a novel class of viruses or perhaps implying a significant evolutionary distance between marine and terrestrial viruses. The most unique feature of WSBV is the presence of an intact collagen gene, a gene encoding an extracellular matrix protein of animal cells that has never been found in any viruses. Determination of the genome of WSBV will facilitate a better understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of the WSBV virus and will also provide useful information concerning the evolution and divergence of marine and terrestrial animal viruses at the molecular level.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times