Deciphering the biodiversity of fish-pathogenic Flavobacterium spp. recovered from the Great Lakes basin

Diseases of Aquatic Organisms
Thomas P Loch, Mohamed Faisal

Abstract

Flavobacterial diseases negatively impact wild and cultured fishes worldwide. We recently reported on the presence of a large and diverse group of flavobacteria, many of which were associated with lesions in a number of Great Lakes fish species. Herein, we report on the characterization of 65 fish-associated Flavobacterium spp. isolates using 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and phylogenetic analyses based upon neighbor-joining and Bayesian methodologies. Thirteen isolates were identified as the newly described fish-associated F. plurextorum, F. spartansii, and F. tructae, while 3 isolates were similar to F. frigidimaris; however, the remaining Flavobacterium spp. isolates did not conclusively match any described Flavobacterium spp. and thus were suspected as comprising novel flavobacterial species. A more comprehensive polyphasic characterization was undertaken on 6 isolates, representing a range of association with disease signs in hatchery-raised or free-ranging fish and genetic distinctness. Polyphasic characterization included physiological, morphological, and biochemical analyses, as well as additional phylogenetic analyses based upon near-complete sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Our findings demonstrated that that at lea...Continue Reading

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