New paper: Florida stone crab – Dr Jamie Bojko

A new member of the Nudiviridae from the Florida stone crab (Menippe mercenaria)

Menippe mercenaria, the Florida stone crab, supports an unconventional fishery across the southern USA and Caribbean that involves claw-removal and the return of de-clawed animals to the sea. We provide pathological, ultrastructural, and genomic detail for a novel hepatopancreatic, nucleus-specific virus – Menippe mercenaria nudivirus (MmNV) – isolated from M. mercenaria, captured during fisheries-independent monitoring.

The virus has a genome of 99,336 bp and encodes 84 predicted protein coding genes and shows greatest similarity to Aratus pisonii nudivirus (ApNV) (<60% protein similarity and 31 shared genes of greatest similarity), collected from the Florida Keys, USA. MmNV is a member of the Gammanudivirus genus (NaldaviricetesLefaviralesNudiviridae). Comparisons of virus genome size, preferred host environment, and gene number revealed no clear associations between the viral traits and phylogenetic position. Evolution of the virus alongside the diversification of host taxa, with the potential for host-switching, remain more likely evolutionary pathways.

A new member of the Nudiviridae from the Florida stone crab (Menippe mercenaria) – ScienceDirect