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Virus Res. 2001 Aug;76(2):115-25.

Purification and characterization of White Spot syndrome virus (WSSV) produced in an alternate host: crayfish, Cambarus clarkii.

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Joint-Laboratory of Invertebrate Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Academia Sinica, 430071, Wuhan, People's Republic of China.


Penaeid shrimp is the natural host of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) that can cause high mortality in the infected hosts. Attempts to obtain sufficient amounts of purified intact WSSV for characterization have been unsuccessful. Using crayfish, Cambarus clarkii as a proliferation system, a large amount of infectious WSSV was reproduced and intact WSSV viral particles were purified with a new isolation medium by ultra-centrifugation. Purified WSSV particles were very sensitive to organic solvents and the detergent, Triton X-100. The size of the rod-shape, somewhat elliptical, intact WSSV was 110-130x260-350 nm with a long, tail-like envelope extension. The naked viral nucleocapsid was about 80x350 nm, and it possessed 15 spiral and cylindrical helices composed of 14 globular capsomers along its long axis, and a 'ring' structure at one terminus. Distinct WSSV genome DNA patterns were obtained when the purified genomic dsDNA of WSSV was digested with five different restriction enzymes (HindIII, XhoI, BamHI, SalI, and SacI). In addition, at least 13 major and distinct protein bands could be observed when purified intact WSSV viruses were separated by SDS-PAGE followed by Coomassie Brilliant R-250 staining. The estimated molecular weights of these proteins were 190, 84, 75, 69, 68, 58, 52, 44, 28, 27.5, 23, 19, and 16 kD, respectively. Both the 44 and 190 kD proteins were easily removed if the hemolymph from the WSSV infected crayfish was transiently treated with 1% Triton X-100 before it was subjected to gradient centrifugation, indicating that both of them are located on the surface of the viral envelope. These characteristics are consistent with WSSV isolated from the penaeid shrimp.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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