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Coordination of primary metabolism and virulence factors expression mediates the virulence of Vibrio parahaemolyticus towards cultured shrimp (Penaeus vannamei).

  • Yang, Q1, 2
  • Fu, S3, 4
  • Zou, P1
  • Hao, J3, 4
  • Wei, D5
  • Xie, G1
  • Huang, J1
  • 1 Laboratory for Marine Fisheries Science and Food Production Processes, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Key Laboratory of Maricultural Organism Disease Control, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Qingdao Key Laboratory of Mariculture Epidemiology and Biosecurity, Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Qingdao, China. , (China)
  • 2 Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology (CMET), Ghent University, Gent, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 3 College of Marine Science and Environment, Dalian Ocean University, Dalian, China. , (China)
  • 4 Key Laboratory of Environment Controlled Aquaculture (KLECA), Ministry of Education, Dalian, China. , (China)
  • 5 Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. , (China)
Published Article
Journal of Applied Microbiology
Wiley (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Nov 05, 2020
DOI: 10.1111/jam.14922
PMID: 33151560


Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus has emerged as a severe bacterial disease of cultured shrimp. To identify the key virulence factors, two AHPND-causing V. parahaemolyticus (VpAHPND ) strains (123 and 137) and two non-VpAHPND strains (HZ56 and ATCC 17082) were selected. Challenge tests showed that the four strains exhibited different virulence towards shrimp with cumulative mortalities at 48 h postinfection (hpi) ranging from 10 to 92%. The expression of pirABVP in strain 123 and 137 was not significantly different. Genomic analysis revealed that the two VpAHPND strains contain a plasmid with the PirABVP toxins (pirABVP ) flanked by the insertion sequence (ISVal1) that has been identified in various locations of chromosomes in VpAHPND strains. The two VpAHPND strains possessed almost identical virulence factors, while ISVal1 disrupted three genes related to flagellar motility in strain 137. Phenotype assay showed that strain 123 possessed the highest growth rate and swimming motility, followed by strain 137, suggesting that the disruption of essential genes mediated by ISVal1 significantly affected the virulence level. Transcriptome analysis of two VpAHPND strains (123 and 137) further suggested that virulence genes related to the capsule, flagella and primary metabolism were highly expressed in strain 123. Here for the first time, it is demonstrated that the virulence of VpAHPND is not only determined by the expression of pirABVP , but also is mediated by ISVal1 which affects the genes involved in flagellar motility and primary metabolism. The genomic and transcriptomic analysis of VpAHPND strains provides valuable information on the virulence factors affecting the pathogenicity of VpAHPND. © 2020 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

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