Marine Biology

, Volume 162, Issue 1, pp 181–192 | Cite as

Phylogeographical analyses of shellfish viruses: inferring a geographical origin for ostreid herpesviruses OsHV-1 (Malacoherpesviridae)

  • Frédéric MineurEmail author
  • Jim Provan
  • Gareth Arnott
Original Paper


Mortality episodes have regularly been affecting the shellfish industry throughout its history. Some of these mortalities, especially in the oyster industry, have been attributed to herpesviruses. Purification of viral particles and molecular characterization have led to the development of routine monitoring, as well as improved taxonomic classification. Ostreid herpesviruses (Malacoherpesviridae), mostly affecting Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas, have been sporadically recorded in the French oyster industry since the early 1990s (OsHV-1 ‘reference’). From 2008, a new variant of ostreid herpesvirus (OsHV-1 μVar) has emerged and seriously impacted oyster production in France and other European countries. Consequently, the presence of ostreid herpesviruses has been monitored in different oyster producing areas around the world. The present study compiles molecular data that are available from survey efforts and takes a biogeographical approach, in order to infer an origin for ostreid herpesviruses. The highest genotype diversity was found in East Asia, despite a lower survey effort in that area than in Europe. Genotype network analyses show that both populations of ostreid herpesviruses present in Europe (OsHV-1 ‘reference’ and OsHV-1 μVar) are closely related to genotypes recorded in Asia. Moreover, ostreid herpesviruses have been detected in wild and symptom-free populations of various Asian native Crassostrea species. In the rest of the world, ostreid herpesvirus genotypes were recorded from cultivated C. gigas, and mostly associated with mortality episodes. Results of this study are therefore highly suggestive of an Asian origin for these viruses, which can be pathogenic under farming conditions. It also highlights the risks of European stock improvements, by means of overseas shellfish imports.


Survey Effort Microsatellite Region Genotype Network European Genotype Oyster Production 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Supplementary material

227_2014_2566_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (50 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 49 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological Sciences/Institute for Global Food SecurityQueen’s University of BelfastBelfastUK
  2. 2.Phycology Research GroupGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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