Characterization of photochromogenic Mycobacterium spp. from Chesapeake Bay striped bass Morone saxatilis.
A large diversity of Mycobacterium spp. has been isolated from striped bass Morone saxatilis in Chesapeake Bay, USA. The new species M. shottsii and M. pseudoshottsii are the dominant isolates, while the classical fish pathogen M. marinum is found much less frequently. M. fortuitum and M. chelonae, other Mycobacterium spp. known to commonly infect fishes, have not yet been aseptically isolated from striped bass within Chesapeake Bay. While M. pseudoshottsii and M. shottsii have been phenotypically and genotypically characterized, other less common mycobacterial isolates have not. In the present study, we describe 17 photochromogenic isolates from Chesapeake Bay striped bass using phenotypic characterization and multilocus sequencing of 16S rRNA, hsp65 and rpoB genes. Genetic characterization reveals that these isolates are related to widely divergent portions of the mycobacterial phylogeny; however, some interesting trends are observed, such as a majority of isolates (10/17) belonging to the M. simiae-related grouping. Five additional isolates were assigned to the slow-growing mycobacteria (including 2 identified as M. marinum), while 2 are clearly shown to belong genetically to the fast-growing mycobacteria.DOI: 10.3354/dao02350