Journal of Fish Diseases issue:first published online : 30 JUL 2014 pages:1-13
Vibrio anguillarum is the causative agent of vibriosis, a deadly haemorrhagic septicaemic disease affecting various marine and fresh/brackish water fish, bivalves and crustaceans. However, the diversity and virulence mechanisms of this pathogen are still insufficiently known. In this study, we aimed to increase our understanding of V. anguillarum diversity and virulence through comparative genome analysis of 15 V. anguillarum strains, obtained from different hosts or non-host niches and geographical regions, among which 10 and 5 strains were found to be virulent and avirulent, respectively, against sea bass larvae. First, the 15 draft genomes were annotated and screened for putative virulence factors, including genes encoding iron uptake systems, transport systems and non-ribosomal peptide synthetases. Second, comparative genome analysis was performed, focusing on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and small insertions and deletions (InDels). Five V. anguillarum strains showed a remarkably high nucleotide identity. However, these strains comprise both virulent and avirulent strains towards sea bass larvae, suggesting that differences in virulence may be caused by subtle nucleotide variations. Clearly, the draft genome sequence of these 15 strains represents a starting point for further genetic research of this economically important fish pathogen.