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Sample records for amphibian pathogen batrachochytrium

  1. A Fungal Pathogen of Amphibians, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Attenuates in Pathogenicity with In Vitro Passages

    OpenAIRE

    Langhammer, Penny F.; Lips, Karen R.; Burrowes, Patricia A.; Tunstall, Tate; Crystal M Palmer; Collins, James P.

    2013-01-01

    Laboratory investigations into the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), have accelerated recently, given the pathogen’s role in causing the global decline and extinction of amphibians. Studies in which host animals were exposed to Bd have largely assumed that lab-maintained pathogen cultures retained the infective and pathogenic properties of wild isolates. Attenuated pathogenicity is common in artificially maintained cultures of other pathogenic fungi, but to date, ...

  2. The amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis detected in a community of stream and wetland amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, E.H.C.; Bailey, L.L.; Ware, J.L.; Duncan, K.C.

    2008-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, responsible for the potentially fatal amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, is known to occur in a large and ever increasing number of amphibian populations around the world. However, sampling has been biased towards stream- and wetland-breeding anurans, with little attention paid to stream-associated salamanders. We sampled three frog and three salamander species in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Maryland, by swabbing animals for PCR analysis to detect DNA of B. dendrobatidis. Using PCR, we detected B. dendrobatidis DNA in both stream and wetland amphibians, and report here the first occurrence of the pathogen in two species of stream-associated salamanders. Future research should focus on mechanisms within habitats that may affect persistence and dissemination of B. dendrobatidis among stream-associated salamanders.

  3. Substrate-Specific Gene Expression in Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the Chytrid Pathogen of Amphibians

    OpenAIRE

    Rosenblum, Erica Bree; Poorten, Thomas J; Joneson, Suzanne; Settles, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    Determining the mechanisms of host-pathogen interaction is critical for understanding and mitigating infectious disease. Mechanisms of fungal pathogenicity are of particular interest given the recent outbreaks of fungal diseases in wildlife populations. Our study focuses on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the chytrid pathogen responsible for amphibian declines around the world. Previous studies have hypothesized a role for several specific families of secreted proteases as pathogenicity ...

  4. Coincident mass extirpation of neotropical amphibians with the emergence of the infectious fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    OpenAIRE

    Cheng, Tina L.; Rovito, Sean M.; Wake, David B; Vance T Vredenburg

    2011-01-01

    Amphibians highlight the global biodiversity crisis because ∼40% of all amphibian species are currently in decline. Species have disappeared even in protected habitats (e.g., the enigmatic extinction of the golden toad, Bufo periglenes, from Costa Rica). The emergence of a fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been implicated in a number of declines that have occurred in the last decade, but few studies have been able to test retroactively whether Bd emergence was linked t...

  5. Species-Specific Chitin-Binding Module 18 Expansion in the Amphibian Pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    OpenAIRE

    Abramyan, John; Stajich, Jason E.

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is the causative agent of chytridiomycosis, which is considered one of the driving forces behind the worldwide decline in populations of amphibians. As a member of the phylum Chytridiomycota, B. dendrobatidis has diverged significantly to emerge as the only pathogen of adult vertebrates. Such shifts in lifestyle are generally accompanied by various degrees of genomic modifications, yet neither its mode of pathogenicity nor any factors associated with it...

  6. A fungal pathogen of amphibians, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, attenuates in pathogenicity with in vitro passages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Penny F Langhammer

    Full Text Available Laboratory investigations into the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, have accelerated recently, given the pathogen's role in causing the global decline and extinction of amphibians. Studies in which host animals were exposed to Bd have largely assumed that lab-maintained pathogen cultures retained the infective and pathogenic properties of wild isolates. Attenuated pathogenicity is common in artificially maintained cultures of other pathogenic fungi, but to date, it is unknown whether, and to what degree, Bd might change in culture. We compared zoospore production over time in two samples of a single Bd isolate having different passage histories: one maintained in artificial media for more than six years (JEL427-P39, and one recently thawed from cryopreserved stock (JEL427-P9. In a common garden experiment, we then exposed two different amphibian species, Eleutherodactylus coqui and Atelopus zeteki, to both cultures to test whether Bd attenuates in pathogenicity with in vitro passages. The culture with the shorter passage history, JEL427-P9, had significantly greater zoospore densities over time compared to JEL427-P39. This difference in zoospore production was associated with a difference in pathogenicity for a susceptible amphibian species, indicating that fecundity may be an important virulence factor for Bd. In the 130-day experiment, Atelopus zeteki frogs exposed to the JEL427-P9 culture experienced higher average infection intensity and 100% mortality, compared with 60% mortality for frogs exposed to JEL427-P39. This effect was not observed with Eleutherodactylus coqui, which was able to clear infection. We hypothesize that the differences in phenotypic performance observed with Atelopus zeteki are rooted in changes of the Bd genome. Future investigations enabled by this study will focus on the underlying mechanisms of Bd pathogenicity.

  7. A fungal pathogen of amphibians, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, attenuates in pathogenicity with in vitro passages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langhammer, Penny F; Lips, Karen R; Burrowes, Patricia A; Tunstall, Tate; Palmer, Crystal M; Collins, James P

    2013-01-01

    Laboratory investigations into the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), have accelerated recently, given the pathogen's role in causing the global decline and extinction of amphibians. Studies in which host animals were exposed to Bd have largely assumed that lab-maintained pathogen cultures retained the infective and pathogenic properties of wild isolates. Attenuated pathogenicity is common in artificially maintained cultures of other pathogenic fungi, but to date, it is unknown whether, and to what degree, Bd might change in culture. We compared zoospore production over time in two samples of a single Bd isolate having different passage histories: one maintained in artificial media for more than six years (JEL427-P39), and one recently thawed from cryopreserved stock (JEL427-P9). In a common garden experiment, we then exposed two different amphibian species, Eleutherodactylus coqui and Atelopus zeteki, to both cultures to test whether Bd attenuates in pathogenicity with in vitro passages. The culture with the shorter passage history, JEL427-P9, had significantly greater zoospore densities over time compared to JEL427-P39. This difference in zoospore production was associated with a difference in pathogenicity for a susceptible amphibian species, indicating that fecundity may be an important virulence factor for Bd. In the 130-day experiment, Atelopus zeteki frogs exposed to the JEL427-P9 culture experienced higher average infection intensity and 100% mortality, compared with 60% mortality for frogs exposed to JEL427-P39. This effect was not observed with Eleutherodactylus coqui, which was able to clear infection. We hypothesize that the differences in phenotypic performance observed with Atelopus zeteki are rooted in changes of the Bd genome. Future investigations enabled by this study will focus on the underlying mechanisms of Bd pathogenicity. PMID:24130895

  8. Global gene expression profiles for life stages of the deadly amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    OpenAIRE

    Rosenblum, Erica Bree; Stajich, Jason E.; Maddox, Nicole; Eisen, Michael B

    2008-01-01

    Amphibians around the world are being threatened by an emerging pathogen, the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Despite intensive ecological study in the decade since Bd was discovered, little is known about the mechanism by which Bd kills frogs. Here, we compare patterns of global gene expression in controlled laboratory conditions for the two phases of the life cycle of Bd: the free-living zoospore and the substrate-embedded sporangia. We find zoospores to be transcription...

  9. Experimental evolution alters the rate and temporal pattern of population growth in Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a lethal fungal pathogen of amphibians

    OpenAIRE

    Voyles, Jamie; Johnson, Leah R.; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Cashins, Scott D.; Ross A. Alford; Berger, Lee; Lee F Skerratt; Speare, Rick; Rosenblum, Erica Bree

    2014-01-01

    Virulence of infectious pathogens can be unstable and evolve rapidly depending on the evolutionary dynamics of the organism. Experimental evolution can be used to characterize pathogen evolution, often with the underlying objective of understanding evolution of virulence. We used experimental evolution techniques (serial transfer experiments) to investigate differential growth and virulence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a fungal pathogen that causes amphibian chytridiomycosis. We te...

  10. Detection of the emerging amphibian pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and ranavirus in Russia

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    Reshetnikov, Andrey N.; Chestnut, Tara E.; Brunner, Jesse L.; Charles, Kaylene M.; Nebergall, Emily E.; Olson, Deanna H.

    2014-01-01

    In a population of the European common toad Bufo bufo from a rural pond in the region of Lake Glubokoe Regional Reserve in Moscow province, Russia, unexplained mass mortality events involving larvae and metamorphs have been observed over a monitoring period of >20 yr. We tested toads from this and a nearby site for the emerging amphibian pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and ranavirus (Rv). Both pathogens were detected, and at the rural pond site, with the above-noted losses and decline in toad breeding success, 40% of B. bufo metamorphs were Bd positive, 46% were Rv positive and 20% were co-infected with both pathogens. Toad metamorphs from a neighbouring water body were also Bd and Rv positive (25 and 55%, respectively). This is the first confirmation of these pathogens in Russia. Questions remain as to the origins of these pathogens in Russia and their roles in documented mass mortality events.

  11. Carotenoids and amphibians: effects on life history and susceptibility to the infectious pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

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    Cothran, Rickey D; Gervasi, Stephanie S; Murray, Cindy; French, Beverly J; Bradley, Paul W; Urbina, Jenny; Blaustein, Andrew R; Relyea, Rick A

    2015-01-01

    Carotenoids are considered beneficial nutrients because they provide increased immune capacity. Although carotenoid research has been conducted in many vertebrates, little research has been done in amphibians, a group that is experiencing global population declines from numerous causes, including disease. We raised two amphibian species through metamorphosis on three carotenoid diets to quantify the effects on life-history traits and post-metamorphic susceptibility to a fungal pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; Bd). Increased carotenoids had no effect on survival to metamorphosis in gray treefrogs (Hyla versicolor) but caused lower survival to metamorphosis in wood frogs [Lithobates sylvaticus (Rana sylvatica)]. Increased carotenoids caused both species to experience slower development and growth. When exposed to Bd after metamorphosis, wood frogs experienced high mortality, and the carotenoid diets had no mitigating effects. Gray treefrogs were less susceptible to Bd, which prevented an assessment of whether carotenoids could mitigate the effects of Bd. Moreover, carotenoids had no effect on pathogen load. As one of only a few studies examining the effects of carotenoids on amphibians and the first to examine potential interactions with Bd, our results suggest that carotenoids do not always serve amphibians in the many positive ways that have become the paradigm in other vertebrates. PMID:27293690

  12. Re-isolating Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis from an amphibian host increases pathogenicity in a subsequent exposure.

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    Forrest M R Brem

    Full Text Available Controlled exposure experiments can be very informative, however, they are based on the assumption that pathogens maintained on artificial media under long-term storage retain the infective and pathogenic properties of the reproducing pathogen as it occurs in a host. We observed that JEL284, an in vitro cultured and maintained isolate of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, was becoming less infectious with successive uses. We hypothesized that passing an isolate propagated on artificial media through an amphibian host would make the isolate more infectious and pathogenic in subsequent exposures. To test our hypothesis, we used two discreet steps, a reisolation step (step 1 and a comparative exposure step (step 2. In step 1, we exposed eastern spadefoot toads, Scaphiopus holbrooki, to JEL284 and JEL197, another isolate that had been maintained in vitro for over six years. We then re-isolated JEL284 only from a successful infection and named this new isolate JEL284(FMBa. JEL197 did not infect any amphibians and, thus, did not proceed to step 2. In step 2, we compared infectivity and pathogenicity (mortality and survival time of JEL284 and JEL284(FMBa by exposing 54 naïve S. holbrooki to three treatments (JEL284, JEL284(FMBa, and negative control with 18 individuals per group. We found that JEL284(FMBa caused higher mortality and decreased survival time in infected individuals when compared to JEL284 and negative controls. Thus, our data show that pathogenicity of Bd can decrease when cultured successively in media only and can be partially restored by passage through an amphibian host. Therefore, we have demonstrated that pathogenicity shifts can occur rapidly in this pathogen. Given the potential for shifts in pathogenicity demonstrated here, we suspect Bd to have similar potential in natural populations. We suggest that, when possible, the use of freshly isolated or cryopreserved Bd would improve the quality of controlled exposure experiments

  13. Assessing the ability of swab data to determine the true burden of infection for the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    OpenAIRE

    Clare, F.; Daniel, O; Garner, T.; Fisher, M.

    2016-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a pathogenic fungus which causes the disease chytridiomycosis in amphibians by infecting the animals’ epidermis. The most commonly applied method for the detection of Bd is the use of a sterile swab, rubbed over the keratinized areas of an amphibian and then processed to yield DNA for detection by qPCR. This method has been used to infer a threshold of lethal infection in some species; however, how reliable and reproducible the swabbing method is at dete...

  14. Quantitative Proteomics of an Amphibian Pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, following Exposure to Thyroid Hormone

    OpenAIRE

    Thekkiniath, Jose; Zabet-Moghaddam, Masoud; Kottapalli, Kameswara Rao; Pasham, Mithun R.; San Francisco, Susan; San Francisco, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a chytrid fungus, has increasingly been implicated as a major factor in the worldwide decline of amphibian populations. The fungus causes chytridiomycosis in susceptible species leading to massive die-offs of adult amphibians. Although Bd infects the keratinized mouthparts of tadpoles and negatively affects foraging behavior, these infections are non-lethal. An important morphogen controlling amphibian metamorphosis is thyroid hormone (T3). Tadpoles may be...

  15. Quantitative Proteomics of an Amphibian Pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, following Exposure to Thyroid Hormone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Thekkiniath

    Full Text Available Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, a chytrid fungus, has increasingly been implicated as a major factor in the worldwide decline of amphibian populations. The fungus causes chytridiomycosis in susceptible species leading to massive die-offs of adult amphibians. Although Bd infects the keratinized mouthparts of tadpoles and negatively affects foraging behavior, these infections are non-lethal. An important morphogen controlling amphibian metamorphosis is thyroid hormone (T3. Tadpoles may be infected with Bd and the fungus may be exposed to T3 during metamorphosis. We hypothesize that exposure of Bd to T3 may induce the expression of factors associated with host colonization and pathogenicity. We utilized a proteomics approach to better understand the dynamics of the Bd-T3 interaction. Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS, we generated a data set of a large number of cytoplasmic and membrane proteins following exposure of Bd to T3. From these data, we identified a total of 263 proteins whose expression was significantly changed following T3 exposure. We provide evidence for expression of an array of proteins that may play key roles in both genomic and non-genomic actions of T3 in Bd. Additionally, our proteomics study shows an increase in several proteins including proteases and a class of uncommon crinkler and crinkler-like effector proteins suggesting their importance in Bd pathogenicity as well as those involved in metabolism and energy transfer, protein fate, transport and stress responses. This approach provides insights into the mechanistic basis of the Bd-amphibian interaction following T3 exposure.

  16. Persistence of the emerging pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis outside the amphibian host greatly increases the probability of host extinction

    OpenAIRE

    Mitchell, Kate M.; Thomas S Churcher; Trenton W J Garner; Fisher, Matthew C

    2007-01-01

    Pathogens do not normally drive their hosts to extinction; however, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which causes amphibian chytridiomycosis, has been able to do so. Theory predicts that extinction can be caused by long-lived or saprobic free-living stages. The hypothesis that such a stage occurs in B. dendrobatidis is supported by the recent discovery of an apparently encysted form of the pathogen. To investigate the effect of a free-living stage of B. dendrobatidis on host population dynamic...

  17. Substrate-specific gene expression in Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the chytrid pathogen of amphibians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica Bree Rosenblum

    Full Text Available Determining the mechanisms of host-pathogen interaction is critical for understanding and mitigating infectious disease. Mechanisms of fungal pathogenicity are of particular interest given the recent outbreaks of fungal diseases in wildlife populations. Our study focuses on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, the chytrid pathogen responsible for amphibian declines around the world. Previous studies have hypothesized a role for several specific families of secreted proteases as pathogenicity factors in Bd, but the expression of these genes has only been evaluated in laboratory growth conditions. Here we conduct a genome-wide study of Bd gene expression under two different nutrient conditions. We compare Bd gene expression profiles in standard laboratory growth media and in pulverized host tissue (i.e., frog skin. A large proportion of genes in the Bd genome show increased expression when grown in host tissue, indicating the importance of studying pathogens on host substrate. A number of gene classes show particularly high levels of expression in host tissue, including three families of secreted proteases (metallo-, serine- and aspartyl-proteases, adhesion genes, lipase-3 encoding genes, and a group of phylogenetically unusual crinkler-like effectors. We discuss the roles of these different genes as putative pathogenicity factors and discuss what they can teach us about Bd's metabolic targets, host invasion, and pathogenesis.

  18. Widespread presence of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in wild amphibian communities in Madagascar

    OpenAIRE

    Bletz, Molly C.; Rosa, Gonçalo M.; Andreone, Franco; Elodie A. Courtois; Schmeller, Dirk S; Nirhy H C Rabibisoa; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C. E.; Raharivololoniaina, Liliane; Vences, Miguel; Weldon, Ché; Edmonds, Devin; Raxworthy, Christopher J.; Harris, Reid N.; Fisher, Matthew C; Crottini,Angelica

    2015-01-01

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been a significant driver of amphibian declines. While globally widespread, Bd had not yet been reported from within Madagascar. We document surveys conducted across the country between 2005 and 2014, showing Bd's first record in 2010. Subsequently, Bd was detected in multiple areas, with prevalence reaching up to 100%. Detection of Bd appears to be associated with mid to h...

  19. The emerging amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis globally infects introduced populations of the North American bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana

    OpenAIRE

    Trenton W J Garner; Perkins, Matthew W.; Govindarajulu, Purnima; Seglie, Daniele; Walker, Susan; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Fisher, Matthew C

    2006-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is the chytridiomycete fungus which has been implicated in global amphibian declines and numerous species extinctions. Here, we show that introduced North American bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) consistently carry this emerging pathogenic fungus. We detected infections by this fungus on introduced bullfrogs from seven of eight countries using both PCR and microscopic techniques. Only native bullfrogs from eastern Canada and introduced bullfrogs from Japan showed n...

  20. Predicting the potential distribution of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in East and Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moriguchi, Sachiko; Tominaga, Atsushi; Irwin, Kelly J; Freake, Michael J; Suzuki, Kazutaka; Goka, Koichi

    2015-04-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is the pathogen responsible for chytridiomycosis, a disease that is associated with a worldwide amphibian population decline. In this study, we predicted the potential distribution of Bd in East and Southeast Asia based on limited occurrence data. Our goal was to design an effective survey area where efforts to detect the pathogen can be focused. We generated ecological niche models using the maximum-entropy approach, with alleviation of multicollinearity and spatial autocorrelation. We applied eigenvector-based spatial filters as independent variables, in addition to environmental variables, to resolve spatial autocorrelation, and compared the model's accuracy and the degree of spatial autocorrelation with those of a model estimated using only environmental variables. We were able to identify areas of high suitability for Bd with accuracy. Among the environmental variables, factors related to temperature and precipitation were more effective in predicting the potential distribution of Bd than factors related to land use and cover type. Our study successfully predicted the potential distribution of Bd in East and Southeast Asia. This information should now be used to prioritize survey areas and generate a surveillance program to detect the pathogen. PMID:25850395

  1. Characterization of the Carbohydrate Binding Module 18 gene family in the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

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    Liu, Peng; Stajich, Jason E

    2015-04-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is the causative agent of chytridiomycosis responsible for worldwide decline in amphibian populations. Previous analysis of the Bd genome revealed a unique expansion of the carbohydrate-binding module family 18 (CBM18) predicted to be a sub-class of chitin recognition domains. CBM expansions have been linked to the evolution of pathogenicity in a variety of fungal species by protecting the fungus from the host. Based on phylogenetic analysis and presence of additional protein domains, the gene family can be classified into 3 classes: Tyrosinase-, Deacetylase-, and Lectin-like. Examination of the mRNA expression levels from sporangia and zoospores of nine of the cbm18 genes found that the Lectin-like genes had the highest expression while the Tyrosinase-like genes showed little expression, especially in zoospores. Heterologous expression of GFP-tagged copies of four CBM18 genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae demonstrated that two copies containing secretion signal peptides are trafficked to the cell boundary. The Lectin-like genes cbm18-ll1 and cbm18-ll2 co-localized with the chitinous cell boundaries visualized by staining with calcofluor white. In vitro assays of the full length and single domain copies from CBM18-LL1 demonstrated chitin binding and no binding to cellulose or xylan. Expressed CBM18 domain proteins were demonstrated to protect the fungus, Trichoderma reeseii, in vitro against hydrolysis from exogenously added chitinase, likely by binding and limiting exposure of fungal chitin. These results demonstrate that cbm18 genes can play a role in fungal defense and expansion of their copy number may be an important pathogenicity factor of this emerging infectious disease of amphibians. PMID:25819009

  2. Differences in sensitivity to the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis among amphibian populations.

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    Bradley, Paul W; Gervasi, Stephanie S; Hua, Jessica; Cothran, Rickey D; Relyea, Rick A; Olson, Deanna H; Blaustein, Andrew R

    2015-10-01

    Contributing to the worldwide biodiversity crisis are emerging infectious diseases, which can lead to extirpations and extinctions of hosts. For example, the infectious fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is associated with worldwide amphibian population declines and extinctions. Sensitivity to Bd varies with species, season, and life stage. However, there is little information on whether sensitivity to Bd differs among populations, which is essential for understanding Bd-infection dynamics and for formulating conservation strategies. We experimentally investigated intraspecific differences in host sensitivity to Bd across 10 populations of wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) raised from eggs to metamorphosis. We exposed the post-metamorphic wood frogs to Bd and monitored survival for 30 days under controlled laboratory conditions. Populations differed in overall survival and mortality rate. Infection load also differed among populations but was not correlated with population differences in risk of mortality. Such population-level variation in sensitivity to Bd may result in reservoir populations that may be a source for the transmission of Bd to other sensitive populations or species. Alternatively, remnant populations that are less sensitive to Bd could serve as sources for recolonization after epidemic events. PMID:26219571

  3. Infection and transmission heterogeneity of a multi-host pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) within an amphibian community.

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    Fernández-Beaskoetxea, S; Bosch, J; Bielby, J

    2016-02-11

    The majority of parasites infect multiple hosts. As the outcome of the infection is different in each of them, most studies of wildlife disease focus on the few species that suffer the most severe consequences. However, the role that each host plays in the persistence and transmission of infection can be crucial to understanding the spread of a parasite and the risk it poses to the community. Current theory predicts that certain host species can modulate the infection in other species by amplifying or diluting both infection prevalence and infection intensity, both of which have implications for disease risk within those communities. The fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the causal agent of the disease chytridiomycosis, has caused global amphibian population declines and extinctions. However, not all infected species are affected equally, and thus Bd is a good example of a multi-host pathogen that must ultimately be studied with a community approach. To test whether the common midwife toad Alytes obstetricans is a reservoir and possible amplifier of infection of other species, we used experimental approaches in captive and wild populations to determine the effect of common midwife toad larvae on infection of other amphibian species found in the Peñalara Massif, Spain. We observed that the most widely and heavily infected species, the common midwife toad, may be amplifying the infection loads in other species, all of which have different degrees of susceptibility to Bd infection. Our results have important implications for performing mitigation actions focused on potential 'amplifier' hosts and for better understanding the mechanisms of Bd transmission. PMID:26865231

  4. Distribution of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the Pacific Northwestern USA

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    Pearl, Christopher A.; Bull, E.L.; Green, D.E.; Bowerman, Jay; Adams, Michael J.; Hyatt, A.; Wente, W.

    2007-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis (infection by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has been associated with amphibian declines in at least four continents. We report results of disease screens from 210 pond-breeding amphibians from 37 field sites in Oregon and Washington. We detected B. dendrobatidis on 28% of sampled amphibians, and we found a?Y 1 detection of B. dendrobatidis from 43% of sites. Four of seven species tested positive for B. dendrobatidis, including the Northern Red-Legged Frog (Rana aurora), Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris), and Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa). We also detected B. dendrobatidis in nonnative American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) from six sites in western and central Oregon. Our study and other recently published findings suggest that B. dendrobatidis has few geographic and host taxa limitations among North American anurans. Further research on virulence, transmissibility, persistence, and interactions with other stressors is needed to assess the potential impact of B. dendrobatidis on Pacific Northwestern amphibians.

  5. Differential efficiency among DNA extraction methods influences detection of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

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    Bletz, M C; Rebollar, E A; Harris, R N

    2015-02-10

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is responsible for massive declines and extinctions of amphibians worldwide. The most common method for detecting Bd is quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). qPCR is a highly sensitive detection technique, but its ability to determine the presence and accurately quantify the amount of Bd is also contingent on the efficiency of the DNA extraction method used prior to PCR. Using qPCR, we compared the extraction efficiency of 3 different extraction methods commonly used for Bd detection across a range of zoospore quantities: PrepMan Ultra Reagent, Qiagen DNeasy Blood and Tissue Kit, and Mobio PowerSoil DNA Isolation Kit. We show that not all extraction methods led to successful detection of Bd for the low zoospore quantities and that there was variation in the estimated zoospore equivalents among the methods, which demonstrates that these methods have different extraction efficiencies. These results highlight the importance of considering the extraction method when comparing across studies. The Qiagen DNeasy kit had the highest efficiency. We also show that replicated estimates of less than 1 zoospore can result from known zoospore concentrations; therefore, such results should be considered when obtained from field data. Additionally, we discuss the implications of our findings for interpreting previous studies and for conducting future Bd surveys. It is imperative to use the most efficient DNA extraction method in tandem with the highly sensitive qPCR technique in order to accurately diagnose the presence of Bd as well as other pathogens. PMID:25667331

  6. Occurrence of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the Pacific Northwest

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    Pearl, C.A.; Bull, E.L.; Green, D.E.; Bowerman, J.; Adams, M.J.; Hyatt, A.; Wente, W.H.

    2007-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis (infection by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has been associated with amphibian declines in at least four continents. We report results of disease screens from 210 pond-breeding amphibians from 37 field sites in Oregon and Washington. We detected B. dendrobatidis on 28% of sampled amphibians, and we found ??? 1 detection of B. dendrobatidis from 43% of sites. Four of seven species tested positive for B. dendrobatidis, including the Northern Red-Legged Frog (Rana aurora), Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris), and Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa). We also detected B. dendrobatidis in nonnative American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) from six sites in western and central Oregon. Our study and other recently published findings suggest that B. dendrobatidis has few geographic and host taxa limitations among North American anurans. Further research on virulence, transmissibility, persistence, and interactions with other stressors is needed to assess the potential impact of B. dendrobatidis on Pacific Northwestern amphibians. Copyright 2007 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  7. Investigating differences across host species and scales to explain the distribution of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna C Peterson

    Full Text Available Many pathogens infect more than one host species, and clarifying how these different hosts contribute to pathogen dynamics can facilitate the management of pathogens and can lend insight into the functioning of pathogens in ecosystems. In this study, we investigated a suite of native and non-native amphibian hosts of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd across multiple scales to identify potential mechanisms that may drive infection patterns in the Colorado study system. Specifically, we aimed to determine if: 1 amphibian populations vary in Bd infection across the landscape, 2 amphibian community composition predicts infection (e.g., does the presence or abundance of any particular species influence infection in others?, 3 amphibian species vary in their ability to produce infectious zoospores in a laboratory infection, 4 heterogeneity in host ability observed in the laboratory scales to predict patterns of Bd prevalence in the landscape. We found that non-native North American bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus are widespread and have the highest prevalence of Bd infection relative to the other native species in the landscape. Additionally, infection in some native species appears to be related to the density of sympatric L. catesbeianus populations. At the smaller host scale, we found that L. catesbeianus produces more of the infective zoospore stage relative to some native species, but that this zoospore output does not scale to predict infection in sympatric wild populations of native species. Rather, landscape level infection relates most strongly to density of hosts at a wetland as well as abiotic factors. While non-native L. catesbeianus have high levels of Bd infection in the Colorado Front Range system, we also identified Bd infection in a number of native amphibian populations allopatric with L. catesbeianus, suggesting that multiple host species are important contributors to the dynamics of the Bd pathogen in this

  8. Phylogenetic distribution of symbiotic bacteria from Panamanian amphibians that inhibit growth of the lethal fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Matthew H; Walke, Jenifer B; Murrill, Lindsey; Woodhams, Douglas C; Reinert, Laura K; Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Burzynski, Elizabeth A; Umile, Thomas P; Minbiole, Kevin P C; Belden, Lisa K

    2015-04-01

    The introduction of next-generation sequencing has allowed for greater understanding of community composition of symbiotic microbial communities. However, determining the function of individual members of these microbial communities still largely relies on culture-based methods. Here, we present results on the phylogenetic distribution of a defensive functional trait of cultured symbiotic bacteria associated with amphibians. Amphibians are host to a diverse community of cutaneous bacteria and some of these bacteria protect their host from the lethal fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) by secreting antifungal metabolites. We cultured over 450 bacterial isolates from the skins of Panamanian amphibian species and tested their interactions with Bd using an in vitro challenge assay. For a subset of isolates, we also completed coculture experiments and found that culturing isolates with Bd had no effect on inhibitory properties of the bacteria, but it significantly decreased metabolite secretion. In challenge assays, approximately 75% of the bacterial isolates inhibited Bd to some extent and these inhibitory isolates were widely distributed among all bacterial phyla. Although there was no clear phylogenetic signal of inhibition, three genera, Stenotrophomonas, Aeromonas and Pseudomonas, had a high proportion of inhibitory isolates (100%, 77% and 73%, respectively). Overall, our results demonstrate that antifungal properties are phylogenetically widespread in symbiotic microbial communities of Panamanian amphibians and that some functional redundancy for fungal inhibition occurs in these communities. We hope that these findings contribute to the discovery and development of probiotics for amphibians that can mitigate the threat of chytridiomycosis. PMID:25737297

  9. Widespread presence of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in wild amphibian communities in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletz, Molly C; Rosa, Gonçalo M; Andreone, Franco; Courtois, Elodie A; Schmeller, Dirk S; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H C; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C E; Raharivololoniaina, Liliane; Vences, Miguel; Weldon, Ché; Edmonds, Devin; Raxworthy, Christopher J; Harris, Reid N; Fisher, Matthew C; Crottini, Angelica

    2015-01-01

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been a significant driver of amphibian declines. While globally widespread, Bd had not yet been reported from within Madagascar. We document surveys conducted across the country between 2005 and 2014, showing Bd's first record in 2010. Subsequently, Bd was detected in multiple areas, with prevalence reaching up to 100%. Detection of Bd appears to be associated with mid to high elevation sites and to have a seasonal pattern, with greater detectability during the dry season. Lineage-based PCR was performed on a subset of samples. While some did not amplify with any lineage probe, when a positive signal was observed, samples were most similar to the Global Panzootic Lineage (BdGPL). These results may suggest that Bd arrived recently, but do not exclude the existence of a previously undetected endemic Bd genotype. Representatives of all native anuran families have tested Bd-positive, and exposure trials confirm infection by Bd is possible. Bd's presence could pose significant threats to Madagascar's unique "megadiverse" amphibians. PMID:25719857

  10. In vitro sensitivity of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis to antifungal therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, A; Berger, L; Skerratt, L F

    2014-10-01

    Chytridiomycosis, a skin disease caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, has caused amphibian declines worldwide. Amphibians can be treated by percutaneous application of antimicrobials, but knowledge of in vitro susceptibility is lacking. Using a modified broth microdilution method, we describe the in vitro sensitivity of two Australian isolates of B. dendrobatidis to six antimicrobial agents. Growth inhibition was observed, by measurement of optical density, with all agents. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (µg/ml; isolate 1/2) were - voriconazole 0.016/0.008; itraconazole 0.032/0.016; terbinafine 0.063/0.063; fluconazole 0.31/0.31; chloramphenicol 12.5/12.5; amphotericin B 12.5/6.25. Killing effects on zoospores were assessed by observing motility. Amphotericin B and terbinafine killed zoospores within 5 and 30 min depending on concentration, but other antimicrobials were not effective at the highest concentrations tested (100 µg/ml). This knowledge will help in drug selection and treatment optimization. As terbinafine was potent and has rapid effects, study of its pharmacokinetics, safety and efficacy is recommended. PMID:25241392

  11. Host Identity Matters in the Amphibian-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis System: Fine-Scale Patterns of Variation in Responses to a Multi-Host Pathogen

    OpenAIRE

    Gervasi, Stephanie; Gondhalekar, Carmen; Olson, Deanna H; BLAUSTEIN, ANDREW R.

    2013-01-01

    Species composition within ecological assemblages can drive disease dynamics including pathogen invasion, spread, and persistence. In multi-host pathogen systems, interspecific variation in responses to infection creates important context dependency when predicting the outcome of disease. Here, we examine the responses of three sympatric host species to a single fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which is associated with worldwide amphibian population declines and extinctions. U...

  12. Variation in Thermal Performance of a Widespread Pathogen, the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    OpenAIRE

    Stevenson, Lisa A.; Ross A. Alford; Bell, Sara C.; Elizabeth A Roznik; Berger, Lee; David A Pike

    2013-01-01

    Rates of growth and reproduction of the pathogens that cause emerging infectious diseases can be affected by local environmental conditions; these conditions can thus influence the strength and nature of disease outbreaks. An understanding of these relationships is important for understanding disease ecology and developing mitigation strategies. Widespread emergence of the fungal disease chytridiomycosis has had devastating effects on amphibian populations. The causative pathogen, Batrachochy...

  13. Projecting the Global Distribution of the Emerging Amphibian Fungal Pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Based on IPCC Climate Futures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Deanna H.; Blaustein, Andrew R.

    2016-01-01

    Projected changes in climate conditions are emerging as significant risk factors to numerous species, affecting habitat conditions and community interactions. Projections suggest species range shifts in response to climate change modifying environmental suitability and is supported by observational evidence. Both pathogens and their hosts can shift ranges with climate change. We consider how climate change may influence the distribution of the emerging infectious amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a pathogen associated with worldwide amphibian population losses. Using an expanded global Bd database and a novel modeling approach, we examined a broad set of climate metrics to model the Bd-climate niche globally and regionally, then project how climate change may influence Bd distributions. Previous research showed that Bd distribution is dependent on climatic variables, in particular temperature. We trained a machine-learning model (random forest) with the most comprehensive global compilation of Bd sampling records (~5,000 site-level records, mid-2014 summary), including 13 climatic variables. We projected future Bd environmental suitability under IPCC scenarios. The learning model was trained with combined worldwide data (non-region specific) and also separately per region (region-specific). One goal of our study was to estimate of how Bd spatial risks may change under climate change based on the best available data. Our models supported differences in Bd-climate relationships among geographic regions. We projected that Bd ranges will shift into higher latitudes and altitudes due to increased environmental suitability in those regions under predicted climate change. Specifically, our model showed a broad expansion of areas environmentally suitable for establishment of Bd on amphibian hosts in the temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere. Our projections are useful for the development of monitoring designs in these areas, especially for

  14. Variation in thermal performance of a widespread pathogen, the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa A Stevenson

    Full Text Available Rates of growth and reproduction of the pathogens that cause emerging infectious diseases can be affected by local environmental conditions; these conditions can thus influence the strength and nature of disease outbreaks. An understanding of these relationships is important for understanding disease ecology and developing mitigation strategies. Widespread emergence of the fungal disease chytridiomycosis has had devastating effects on amphibian populations. The causative pathogen, Batrachochytriumdendrobatidis (Bd, is sensitive to temperature, but its thermal tolerances are not well studied. We examined the thermal responses of three Bd isolates collected across a latitudinal gradient in eastern Australia. Temperature affected all aspects of Bd growth and reproduction that we measured, in ways that often differed among Bd isolates. Aspects of growth, reproduction, and their relationships to temperature that differed among isolates included upper thermal maxima for growth (26, 27, or 28 °C, depending on the isolate, relationships between zoospore production and temperature, and zoospore activity and temperature. Two isolates decreased zoospore production as temperature increased, whereas the third isolate was less fecund overall, but did not show a strong response to temperature until reaching the upper limit of its thermal tolerance. Our results show differentiation in life-history traits among isolates within Australia, suggesting that the pathogen may exhibit local adaptation. An understanding of how environmental temperatures can limit pathogens by constraining fitness will enhance our ability to assess pathogen dynamics in the field, model pathogen spread, and conduct realistic experiments on host susceptibility and disease transmission.

  15. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp nov causes lethal chytridiomycosis in amphibians

    OpenAIRE

    Martel, An; Spitzen - van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Blooi, Mark; Bert, Wim; Ducatelle, Richard; Fisher, Matthew C; Woeltjes, Antonius; Bosman, Wilbert; Chiers, Koen; Bossuyt, Franky; Pasmans, Frank

    2013-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis has resulted in the serious decline and extinction of >200 species of amphibians worldwide and poses the greatest threat to biodiversity of any known disease. This fungal disease is currently known to be caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, hitherto the only species within the entire phylum of the Chytridiomycota known to parasitize vertebrate hosts. We describe the discovery of a second highly divergent, chytrid pathogen, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov., that...

  16. A reservoir species for the emerging Amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis thrives in a landscape decimated by disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie M M Reeder

    Full Text Available Chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, is driving amphibian declines and extinctions in protected areas globally. The introduction of invasive reservoir species has been implicated in the spread of Bd but does not explain the appearance of the pathogen in remote protected areas. In the high elevation (>1500 m Sierra Nevada of California, the native Pacific chorus frog, Pseudacris regilla, appears unaffected by chytridiomycosis while sympatric species experience catastrophic declines. We investigated whether P. regilla is a reservoir of Bd by comparing habitat occupancy before and after a major Bd outbreak and measuring infection in P. regilla in the field, monitoring susceptibility of P. regilla to Bd in the laboratory, examining tissues with histology to determine patterns of infection, and using an innovative soak technique to determine individual output of Bd zoospores in water. Pseudacris regilla persists at 100% of sites where a sympatric species has been extirpated from 72% in synchrony with a wave of Bd. In the laboratory, P. regilla carried loads of Bd as much as an order of magnitude higher than loads found lethal to sympatric species. Histology shows heavy Bd infection in patchy areas next to normal skin, a possible mechanism for tolerance. The soak technique was 77.8% effective at detecting Bd in water and showed an average output of 68 zoospores per minute per individual. The results of this study suggest P. regilla should act as a Bd reservoir and provide evidence of a tolerance mechanism in a reservoir species.

  17. Persistence of the emerging pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis outside the amphibian host greatly increases the probability of host extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Kate M; Churcher, Thomas S; Garner, Trenton W J; Fisher, Matthew C

    2008-02-01

    Pathogens do not normally drive their hosts to extinction; however, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which causes amphibian chytridiomycosis, has been able to do so. Theory predicts that extinction can be caused by long-lived or saprobic free-living stages. The hypothesis that such a stage occurs in B. dendrobatidis is supported by the recent discovery of an apparently encysted form of the pathogen. To investigate the effect of a free-living stage of B. dendrobatidis on host population dynamics, a mathematical model was developed to describe the introduction of chytridiomycosis into a breeding population of Bufo bufo, parametrized from laboratory infection and transmission experiments. The model predicted that the longer that B. dendrobatidis was able to persist in water, either due to an increased zoospore lifespan or saprobic reproduction, the more likely it was that it could cause local B. bufo extinction (defined as decrease below a threshold level). Establishment of endemic B. dendrobatidis infection in B. bufo, with severe host population depression, was also possible, in agreement with field observations. Although this model is able to predict clear trends, more precise predictions will only be possible when the life history of B. dendrobatidis, including free-living stages of the life cycle, is better understood. PMID:18048287

  18. Presence of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Native Amphibians Exported from Madagascar

    OpenAIRE

    Kolby, Jonathan E.

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is driven by the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd), a highly virulent pathogen threatening global amphibian biodiversity. Although pandemic in distribution, previous intensive field surveys have failed to detect Bd in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot home to hundreds of endemic amphibian species. Due to the presence of Bd in nearby continental Africa and the ecological crisis that can be expected followin...

  19. Early 1900s Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Korean Amphibians

    OpenAIRE

    Fong, Jonathan J.; Cheng, Tina L.; Bataille, Arnaud; Allan P Pessier; Waldman, Bruce; Vance T Vredenburg

    2015-01-01

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a major conservation concern because of its role in decimating amphibian populations worldwide. We used quantitative PCR to screen 244 museum specimens from the Korean Peninsula, collected between 1911 and 2004, for the presence of Bd to gain insight into its history in Asia. Three specimens of Rugosa emeljanovi (previously Rana or Glandirana rugosa), collected in 1911 from Wonsan, North Korea, tested positive for Bd. Histology of t...

  20. Host identity matters in the amphibian-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis system: fine-scale patterns of variation in responses to a multi-host pathogen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Gervasi

    Full Text Available Species composition within ecological assemblages can drive disease dynamics including pathogen invasion, spread, and persistence. In multi-host pathogen systems, interspecific variation in responses to infection creates important context dependency when predicting the outcome of disease. Here, we examine the responses of three sympatric host species to a single fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which is associated with worldwide amphibian population declines and extinctions. Using an experimental approach, we show that amphibian species from three different genera display significant differences in patterns of pathgen-induced mortality as well as the magnitude and temporal dynamics of infection load. We exposed amphibians to one of four inoculation dose treatments at both larval and post- metamorphic stages and quantified infection load on day 8 and day 15 post-inoculation. Of the three species examined, only one (the Pacific treefrog; Pseudacris regilla displayed "dose-dependent" responses; survival was reduced and infection load was elevated as inoculation dose was increased. We observed a reduction in survival but no differences in infection load across pathogen treatments in Cascades frogs (Rana cascadae. Western toads (Anaxyrus boreas displayed differences in infection load but no differences in survival across pathogen treatments. Within species, responses to the pathogen varied with life history stage, and the most heavily infected species at the larval stage was different from the most heavily infected species at the post-metamorphic stage. Temporal changes in infection load were species and life history stage-specific. We show that variation in susceptibility to this multi-host pathogen is complex when viewed at a fine-scale and may be mediated through intrinsic host traits.

  1. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibians from the Po River Delta, Northern Italy

    OpenAIRE

    Gentile Francesco Ficetola; Alice Valentini; Claude Miaud; Andrea Noferini; Stefano Mazzotti; Tony Dejean

    2011-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a pathogen infecting amphibians at the global scale and causing their decline, but knowledge of the distribution of this pathogen is far from complete. We sampled amphibians from three species (Hyla intermedia, Rana dalmatina and Pelophylax synklepton esculentus) to evaluate whether B. dendrobatidis infects amphibians in the Po River Delta Natural Park, Northern Italy. We detected the pathogen in one population of P. sk. esculentus (prevalence: 0.33). These f...

  2. First evidence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and ranavirus in Hong Kong amphibian trade.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Kolby

    Full Text Available The emerging infectious amphibian diseases caused by amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd and ranaviruses are responsible for global amphibian population declines and extinctions. Although likely to have been spread by a variety of activities, transcontinental dispersal appears closely associated with the international trade in live amphibians. The territory of Hong Kong reports frequent, high volume trade in amphibians, and yet the presence of Bd and ranavirus have not previously been detected in either traded or free-ranging amphibians. In 2012, a prospective surveillance project was conducted to investigate the presence of these pathogens in commercial shipments of live amphibians exported from Hong Kong International Airport. Analysis of skin (Bd and cloacal (ranavirus swabs by quantitative PCR detected pathogen presence in 31/265 (11.7% and in 105/185 (56.8% of amphibians, respectively. In addition, the water in which animals were transported tested positive for Bd, demonstrating the risk of pathogen pollution by the disposal of untreated wastewater. It is uncertain whether Bd and ranavirus remain contained within Hong Kong's trade sector, or if native amphibians have already been exposed. Rapid response efforts are now urgently needed to determine current pathogen distribution in Hong Kong, evaluate potential trade-associated exposure to free-ranging amphibians, and identify opportunities to prevent disease establishment.

  3. Why Does Amphibian Chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) Not Occur Everywhere? An Exploratory Study in Missouri Ponds

    OpenAIRE

    Strauss, Alex; Smith, Kevin G.

    2013-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a globally emerging pathogen that has caused widespread amphibian population declines, extirpations, and extinctions. However, Bd does not occur in all apparently suitable amphibian populations, even within regions where it is widespread, and it is often unclear why Bd occurs in some habitats but not others. In this study, we rigorously surveyed the amphibian and invertebrate biodiversity of 29 ponds in Missouri, screened r...

  4. Activities of Temporin Family Peptides against the Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) Associated with Global Amphibian Declines

    OpenAIRE

    Rollins-Smith, Louise A.; Carey, Cynthia; Conlon, J. Michael; Reinert, Laura K.; Doersam, Jennifer K.; Bergman, Tomas; Silberring, Jerzy; Lankinen, Hilkka; Wade, David

    2003-01-01

    Temporin A and structurally related peptides produced in amphibian dermal granular glands and in wasp venom were tested for growth inhibition of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a pathogen associated with global amphibian declines. Two natural amphibian temporins, a wasp temporin, and six synthetic analogs effectively inhibited growth. Differences in potency due to amino acid substitution suggest that ability to penetrate membranes and form an α-helical structure is important for their effecti...

  5. Pathogenic Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, but Not B. salamandrivorans, Detected on Eastern Hellbenders

    OpenAIRE

    Bales, Emma K.; Oliver J Hyman; Loudon, Andrew H.; Harris, Reid N.; Lipps, Gregory; Chapman, Eric; Roblee, Kenneth; John D Kleopfer; Terrell, Kimberly A.

    2015-01-01

    Recent worldwide declines and extinctions of amphibian populations have been attributed to chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Until recently, Bd was thought to be the only Batrachochytrium species that infects amphibians; however a newly described species, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs), is linked to die-offs in European fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra). Little is known about the distribution, host range, or origin ...

  6. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibians from the Po River Delta, Northern Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gentile Francesco Ficetola

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a pathogen infecting amphibians at the global scale and causing their decline, but knowledge of the distribution of this pathogen is far from complete. We sampled amphibians from three species (Hyla intermedia, Rana dalmatina and Pelophylax synklepton esculentus to evaluate whether B. dendrobatidis infects amphibians in the Po River Delta Natural Park, Northern Italy. We detected the pathogen in one population of P. sk. esculentus (prevalence: 0.33. These findings expand the known distribution of B. dendrobatidis in Italy and add further concern to the conservation of amphibians in this area.

  7. Early 1900 s detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Korean amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, Jonathan J; Cheng, Tina L; Bataille, Arnaud; Pessier, Allan P; Waldman, Bruce; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2015-01-01

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a major conservation concern because of its role in decimating amphibian populations worldwide. We used quantitative PCR to screen 244 museum specimens from the Korean Peninsula, collected between 1911 and 2004, for the presence of Bd to gain insight into its history in Asia. Three specimens of Rugosa emeljanovi (previously Rana or Glandirana rugosa), collected in 1911 from Wonsan, North Korea, tested positive for Bd. Histology of these positive specimens revealed mild hyperkeratosis - a non-specific host response commonly found in Bd-infected frogs - but no Bd zoospores or zoosporangia. Our results indicate that Bd was present in Korea more than 100 years ago, consistent with hypotheses suggesting that Korean amphibians may be infected by endemic Asian Bd strains. PMID:25738656

  8. Early 1900 s detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Korean amphibians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan J Fong

    Full Text Available The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd is a major conservation concern because of its role in decimating amphibian populations worldwide. We used quantitative PCR to screen 244 museum specimens from the Korean Peninsula, collected between 1911 and 2004, for the presence of Bd to gain insight into its history in Asia. Three specimens of Rugosa emeljanovi (previously Rana or Glandirana rugosa, collected in 1911 from Wonsan, North Korea, tested positive for Bd. Histology of these positive specimens revealed mild hyperkeratosis - a non-specific host response commonly found in Bd-infected frogs - but no Bd zoospores or zoosporangia. Our results indicate that Bd was present in Korea more than 100 years ago, consistent with hypotheses suggesting that Korean amphibians may be infected by endemic Asian Bd strains.

  9. Effects of an Infectious Fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, on Amphibian Predator-Prey Interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Han, Barbara A; Catherine L Searle; BLAUSTEIN, ANDREW R.

    2011-01-01

    The effects of parasites and pathogens on host behaviors may be particularly important in predator-prey contexts, since few animal behaviors are more crucial for ensuring immediate survival than the avoidance of lethal predators in nature. We examined the effects of an emerging fungal pathogen of amphibians, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, on anti-predator behaviors of tadpoles of four frog species. We also investigated whether amphibian predators consumed infected prey, and whether B. dendro...

  10. Presence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in native amphibians exported from Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Kolby

    Full Text Available The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is driven by the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd, a highly virulent pathogen threatening global amphibian biodiversity. Although pandemic in distribution, previous intensive field surveys have failed to detect Bd in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot home to hundreds of endemic amphibian species. Due to the presence of Bd in nearby continental Africa and the ecological crisis that can be expected following establishment in Madagascar, enhanced surveillance is imperative. I sampled 565 amphibians commercially exported from Madagascar for the presence of Bd upon importation to the USA, both to assist early detection efforts and demonstrate the conservation potential of wildlife trade disease surveillance. Bd was detected in three animals via quantitative PCR: a single Heterixalus alboguttatus, Heterixalus betsileo, and Scaphiophryne spinosa. This is the first time Bd has been confirmed in amphibians from Madagascar and presents an urgent call to action. Our early identification of pathogen presence prior to widespread infection provides the necessary tools and encouragement to catalyze a swift, targeted response to isolate and eradicate Bd from Madagascar. If implemented before establishment occurs, an otherwise likely catastrophic decline in amphibian biodiversity may be prevented.

  11. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibians of Cameroon, including first records for caecilians

    OpenAIRE

    Doherty-Bone, T.M.; Gonwouo, N.L.; Hirschfeld, M; Ohst, T.; C. Weldon

    2013-01-01

    Amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been hypothesised to be an indigenous parasite of African amphibians. In Cameroon, however, previous surveys in one region (in the northwest) failed to detect this pathogen, despite the earliest African Bd having been recorded from a frog in eastern Cameroon, plus one recent record in the far southeast. To reconcile these contrasting results, we present survey data from 12 localities across 6 regions of Cameroon from anurans (n...

  12. Reduced Itraconazole Concentration and Durations Are Successful in Treating Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Infection in Amphibians

    OpenAIRE

    Laura A Brannelly

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians are experiencing the greatest decline of any vertebrate class and a leading cause of these declines is a fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the disease chytridiomycosis. Captive assurance colonies are important worldwide for threatened amphibian species and may be the only lifeline for those in critical threat of extinction. Maintaining disease free colonies is a priority of captive managers, yet safe and effective treatments for all species and acro...

  13. Invasion of the Fungal Pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on California Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Tiffany A; Gillespie, Lauren; Ellison, Silas; Flechas, Sandra V; Koo, Michelle S; Martinez, Ari E; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2016-03-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), an amphibian fungal pathogen, has infected >500 species and caused extinctions or declines in >200 species worldwide. Despite over a decade of research, little is known about its invasion biology. To better understand this, we conducted a museum specimen survey (1910-1997) of Bd in amphibians on 11 California islands and found a pattern consistent with the emergence of Bd epizootics on the mainland, suggesting that geographic isolation did not prevent Bd invasion. We propose that suitable habitat, host diversity, and human visitation overcome isolation from the mainland and play a role in Bd invasion. PMID:26493624

  14. Spatial Assessment of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in South Africa Confirms Endemic and Widespread Infection

    OpenAIRE

    Tarrant, Jeanne; Cilliers, Dirk; du Preez, Louis H.; Weldon, Ché

    2013-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis has been identified as a major cause of global amphibian declines. Despite widespread evidence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in South African frogs, sampling for this disease has not focused on threatened species, or whether this pathogen poses a disease risk to these species. This study assessed the occurrence of Bd-infection in South African Red List species. In addition, all known records of infection from South Africa were used to model the ecological niche ...

  15. The Amphibian Chytrid Fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in Fully Aquatic Salamanders from Southeastern North America

    OpenAIRE

    Chatfield, Matthew W. H.; Moler, Paul; Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L.

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the impact that the pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has on fully aquatic salamander species of the eastern United States. As a first step in determining the impacts of Bd on these species, we aimed to determine the prevalence of Bd in wild populations of fully aquatic salamanders in the genera Amphiuma, Necturus, Pseudobranchus, and Siren. We sampled a total of 98 salamanders, representing nine species from sites in Florida, Miss...

  16. Short-Term Exposure to Warm Microhabitats Could Explain Amphibian Persistence with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    OpenAIRE

    Daskin, Joshua H.; Ross A. Alford; Puschendorf, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Environmental conditions can alter the outcomes of symbiotic interactions. Many amphibian species have declined due to chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), but many others persist despite high Bd infection prevalence. This indicates that Bd's virulence is lower, or it may even be a commensal, in some hosts. In the Australian Wet Tropics, chytridiomycosis extirpated Litoria nannotis from high-elevation rain forests in the early 1990 s. Although...

  17. The pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis disturbs the frog skin microbiome during a natural epidemic and experimental infection

    OpenAIRE

    Jani, Andrea J.; Cheryl J Briggs

    2014-01-01

    Animals are inhabited by communities of microbes (the microbiome) that potentially interact with pathogens. Detailed studies of microbiome–pathogen interactions in nature are rare, and even when correlations are observed, determining causal relationships is challenging. The microbiome–pathogen relationship is of particular interest in the case of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a chytrid fungus that infects the skin of amphibians and is causing amphibian declines worldwide. We documented a st...

  18. Amphibian Symbiotic Bacteria Do Not Show a Universal Ability To Inhibit Growth of the Global Panzootic Lineage of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    OpenAIRE

    Antwis, Rachael E.; Preziosi, Richard F.; Harrison, Xavier A.; Trenton W J Garner

    2015-01-01

    Microbiomes associated with multicellular organisms influence the disease susceptibility of hosts. The potential exists for such bacteria to protect wildlife from infectious diseases, particularly in the case of the globally distributed and highly virulent fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis of the global panzootic lineage (B. dendrobatidis GPL), responsible for mass extinctions and population declines of amphibians. B. dendrobatidis GPL exhibits wide genotypic and virulence variat...

  19. Effects of an infectious fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, on amphibian predator-prey interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara A Han

    Full Text Available The effects of parasites and pathogens on host behaviors may be particularly important in predator-prey contexts, since few animal behaviors are more crucial for ensuring immediate survival than the avoidance of lethal predators in nature. We examined the effects of an emerging fungal pathogen of amphibians, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, on anti-predator behaviors of tadpoles of four frog species. We also investigated whether amphibian predators consumed infected prey, and whether B. dendrobatidis caused differences in predation rates among prey in laboratory feeding trials. We found differences in anti-predator behaviors among larvae of four amphibian species, and show that infected tadpoles of one species (Anaxyrus boreas were more active and sought refuge more frequently when exposed to predator chemical cues. Salamander predators consumed infected and uninfected tadpoles of three other prey species at similar rates in feeding trials, and predation risk among prey was unaffected by B. dendrobatidis. Collectively, our results show that even sub-lethal exposure to B. dendrobatidis can alter fundamental anti-predator behaviors in some amphibian prey species, and suggest the unexplored possibility that indiscriminate predation between infected and uninfected prey (i.e., non-selective predation could increase the prevalence of this widely distributed pathogen in amphibian populations. Because one of the most prominent types of predators in many amphibian systems is salamanders, and because salamanders are susceptible to B. dendrobatidis, our work suggests the importance of considering host susceptibility and behavioral changes that could arise from infection in both predators and prey.

  20. Why does Amphibian Chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis not occur everywhere? An exploratory study in Missouri ponds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Strauss

    Full Text Available The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, is a globally emerging pathogen that has caused widespread amphibian population declines, extirpations, and extinctions. However, Bd does not occur in all apparently suitable amphibian populations, even within regions where it is widespread, and it is often unclear why Bd occurs in some habitats but not others. In this study, we rigorously surveyed the amphibian and invertebrate biodiversity of 29 ponds in Missouri, screened resident amphibian larvae (Rana (Lithobates sp. for Bd infection, and characterized the aquatic physiochemical environment of each pond (temperature pH, conductivity, nitrogen, phosphorus, and chlorophyll-a. Our goal was to generate hypotheses toward answering the question, "Why does Bd not occur in all apparently suitable habitats?" Bd occurred in assayed amphibians in 11 of the 29 ponds in our study area (38% of ponds. We found no significant relationship between any single biotic or abiotic variable and presence of Bd. However, multivariate analyses (nonmetric multidimensional scaling and permutational tests of dispersion revealed that ponds in which Bd occurred were a restricted subset of all ponds in terms of amphibian community structure, macroinvertebrate community structure, and pond physiochemistry. In other words, Bd ponds from 6 different conservation areas were more similar to each other than would be expected based on chance. The results of a structural equation model suggest that patterns in the occurrence of Bd among ponds are primarily attributable to variation in macroinvertebrate community structure. When combined with recent results showing that Bd can infect invertebrates as well as amphibians, we suggest that additional research should focus on the role played by non-amphibian biota in determining the presence, prevalence, and pathogenicity of Bd in amphibian populations.

  1. Terrestrial Dispersal and Potential Environmental Transmission of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Ramirez, Sara D; Berger, Lee; Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L; Jocque, Merlijn; Skerratt, Lee F

    2015-01-01

    Dispersal and exposure to amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) is not confined to the aquatic habitat, but little is known about pathways that facilitate exposure to wild terrestrial amphibians that do not typically enter bodies of water. We explored the possible spread of Bd from an aquatic reservoir to terrestrial substrates by the emergence of recently metamorphosed infected amphibians and potential deposition of Bd-positive residue on riparian vegetation in Cusuco National Park, Honduras (CNP). Amphibians and their respective leaf perches were both sampled for Bd presence and the pathogen was detected on 76.1% (35/46) of leaves where a Bd-positive frog had rested. Although the viability of Bd detected on these leaves cannot be discerned from our quantitative PCR results, the cool air temperature, closed canopy, and high humidity of this cloud forest environment in CNP is expected to encourage pathogen persistence. High prevalence of infection (88.5%) detected in the recently metamorphosed amphibians and frequent shedding of Bd-positive residue on foliage demonstrates a pathway of Bd dispersal between aquatic and terrestrial habitats. This pathway provides the opportunity for environmental transmission of Bd among and between amphibian species without direct physical contact or exposure to an aquatic habitat. PMID:25927835

  2. Terrestrial Dispersal and Potential Environmental Transmission of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Kolby

    Full Text Available Dispersal and exposure to amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd is not confined to the aquatic habitat, but little is known about pathways that facilitate exposure to wild terrestrial amphibians that do not typically enter bodies of water. We explored the possible spread of Bd from an aquatic reservoir to terrestrial substrates by the emergence of recently metamorphosed infected amphibians and potential deposition of Bd-positive residue on riparian vegetation in Cusuco National Park, Honduras (CNP. Amphibians and their respective leaf perches were both sampled for Bd presence and the pathogen was detected on 76.1% (35/46 of leaves where a Bd-positive frog had rested. Although the viability of Bd detected on these leaves cannot be discerned from our quantitative PCR results, the cool air temperature, closed canopy, and high humidity of this cloud forest environment in CNP is expected to encourage pathogen persistence. High prevalence of infection (88.5% detected in the recently metamorphosed amphibians and frequent shedding of Bd-positive residue on foliage demonstrates a pathway of Bd dispersal between aquatic and terrestrial habitats. This pathway provides the opportunity for environmental transmission of Bd among and between amphibian species without direct physical contact or exposure to an aquatic habitat.

  3. Baseline Population Inventory of Amphibians on the Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge and Screening for the Amphibian Disease Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — From July of 2012 to June of 2013, we conducted baseline inventories for amphibians and sampled for the disease Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on the Mountain...

  4. Duplex Real-Time PCR for Rapid Simultaneous Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Amphibian Samples

    OpenAIRE

    Blooi, M.; Pasmans, F.; Longcore, J. E.; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, A.; Vercammen, F.; Martel, A

    2013-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis is a lethal fungal disease contributing to declines and extinctions of amphibian species worldwide. The currently used molecular screening tests for chytridiomycosis fail to detect the recently described species Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans. In this study, we present a duplex real-time PCR that allows the simultaneous detection of B. salamandrivorans and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. With B. dendrobatidis- and B. salamandrivorans-specific primers and probes, detection ...

  5. Mapping the global emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the amphibian chytrid fungus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deanna H Olson

    Full Text Available The rapid worldwide emergence of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd is having a profound negative impact on biodiversity. However, global research efforts are fragmented and an overarching synthesis of global infection data is lacking. Here, we provide results from a community tool for the compilation of worldwide Bd presence and report on the analyses of data collated over a four-year period. Using this online database, we analysed: 1 spatial and taxonomic patterns of infection, including amphibian families that appear over- and under-infected; 2 relationships between Bd occurrence and declining amphibian species, including associations among Bd occurrence, species richness, and enigmatic population declines; and 3 patterns of environmental correlates with Bd, including climate metrics for all species combined and three families (Hylidae, Bufonidae, Ranidae separately, at both a global scale and regional (U.S.A. scale. These associations provide new insights for downscaled hypothesis testing. The pathogen has been detected in 52 of 82 countries in which sampling was reported, and it has been detected in 516 of 1240 (42% amphibian species. We show that detected Bd infections are related to amphibian biodiversity and locations experiencing rapid enigmatic declines, supporting the hypothesis that greater complexity of amphibian communities increases the likelihood of emergence of infection and transmission of Bd. Using a global model including all sampled species, the odds of Bd detection decreased with increasing temperature range at a site. Further consideration of temperature range, rather than maximum or minimum temperatures, may provide new insights into Bd-host ecology. Whereas caution is necessary when interpreting such a broad global dataset, the use of our pathogen database is helping to inform studies of the epidemiology of Bd, as well as enabling regional, national, and international prioritization of conservation

  6. Germ Tube Mediated Invasion of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Amphibian Skin Is Host Dependent

    OpenAIRE

    Van Rooij, Pascale; Martel, An; D'Herde, Katharina; Brutyn, Melanie; Croubels, Siska; Ducatelle, Richard; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is the causative agent of chytridiomycosis, a fungal skin disease in amphibians and driver of worldwide amphibian declines. We focussed on the early stages of infection by Bd in 3 amphibian species with a differential susceptibility to chytridiomycosis. Skin explants of Alytes muletensis, Litoria caerulea and Xenopus leavis were exposed to Bd in an Ussing chamber for 3 to 5 days. Early interactions of Bd with amphibian skin were observed using light microsc...

  7. Parallels in Amphibian and Bat Declines from Pathogenic Fungi

    OpenAIRE

    Eskew, Evan A.; Todd, Brian D.

    2013-01-01

    Pathogenic fungi have substantial effects on global biodiversity, and 2 emerging pathogenic species—the chytridiomycete Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which causes chytridiomycosis in amphibians, and the ascomycete Geomyces destructans, which causes white-nose syndrome in hibernating bats—are implicated in the widespread decline of their vertebrate hosts. We synthesized current knowledge for chytridiomycosis and white-nose syndrome regarding disease emergence, environmental reservoirs, life ...

  8. Delayed metamorphosis of amphibian larvae facilitates Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis transmission and persistence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Daniel; Garner, Trenton W J; Carrascal, Luis María; Bosch, Jaime

    2015-12-01

    Highly virulent pathogens that cause host population declines confront the risk of fade-out, but if pathogen transmission dynamics are age-structured, pathogens can persist. Among other features of amphibian biology, variable larval developmental rates generate age-structured larval populations, which in theory can facilitate pathogen persistence. We investigated this possibility empirically in a population of Salamandra salamandra in Spain affected by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) at breeding sites that lacked alternative amphibian hosts. None of the adults presented infection by Bd. However, for the larvae, while environmental heterogeneity was the most important predictor of infection, the effect on infection dynamics was mediated by transmission from overwintered larvae to new larval recruits, which occurred only in permanent larval habitats. We suggest that interannual Bd maintenance in a host population that experiences mass mortality associated with infection can occur without an environmental reservoir or direct involvement of an alternative host in our study system. However the 2 aquatic habitat types that support intraspecific reservoirs, permanent streams and ponds, are not ideal habitats for long-term Bd maintenance, either due to poor transmission probability or low host survival, respectively. While intraspecific pathogen maintenance due to larval plasticity might be possible at our study sites, this transmission pattern is not without significant risk to the pathogen. The availability of alternative hosts nearby does indicate that permanent Bd fade-out is unlikely. PMID:26648101

  9. Presence and significance of chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and other amphibian pathogens at warm-water fish hatcheries in southeastern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, D. Earl; Dodd, C. Kenneth, Jr.

    2007-01-01

    Amphibian populations and species are declining or disappearing from many regions throughout the world (Stuart et al. 2004). No single cause has been demonstrated, although a number of emerging infectious diseases have been suggested as primary etiologic agents (Berger et al. 1998; Daszak et al. 2003; Lips et al. 2006). Several factors, including climate change, parasite infestation or compromised immune systems may interact locally or regionally to threaten species and populations (Carey and Bryant 1995; Parris and Beaudoin 2004; Pounds et al. 2006). Still, the disease model of amphibian decline may not be universally applicable (Daszak et al. 2005; McCallum 2005).

  10. Presence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in rainwater suggests aerial dispersal is possible

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E.; Sara D. Ramirez; Lee Berger; Griffin, Dale W.; Merlijn Jocque; Lee F. Skerratt

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Global spread of the pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) may involve dispersal mechanisms not previously explored. Weather systems accompanied by strong wind and rainfall have been known to assist the dispersal of microbes pathogenic to plants and animals, and we considered a similar phenomenon might occur with Bd. We investigated this concept by sampling rainwater from 20 precipitation events for the presence of Bd in Cusuco National Park, Honduras: a site where high Bd prevalence was previously detected in stream-associated amphibians. Quantitative PCR analysis confirmed the presence of Bd in rainwater in one (5 %) of the weather events sampled, although viability cannot be ascertained from molecular presence alone. The source of the Bd and distance that the contaminated rainwater traveled could not be determined; however, this collection site was located approximately 600 m from the nearest observed perennial river by straight-line aerial distance. Although our results suggest atmospheric Bd dispersal is uncommon and unpredictable, even occasional short-distance aerial transport could considerably expand the taxonomic diversity of amphibians vulnerable to exposure and at risk of decline, including terrestrial and arboreal species that are not associated with permanent water bodies.

  11. Widespread occurrence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the southeastern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothermel, Betsie B.; Walls, Susan C.; Mitchell, Joseph C.; Dodd, C. Kenneth, Jr.; Irwin, Lisa K.; Green, David E.; Vazquez, Victoria M.; Petranka, James W.; Stevenson, Dirk J.

    2008-01-01

     From 1999 to 2006, we sampled >1200 amphibians for the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis(Bd) at 30 sites in the southeastern USA. Using histological techniques or PCR assays, we detected chytrid infection in 10 species of aquatic-breeding amphibians in 6 states. The prevalence of chytrid infection was 17.8% for samples of postmetamorphic amphibians examined using skin swab-PCR assays (n = 202 samples from 12 species at 4 sites). In this subset of samples, anurans had a much higher prevalence of infection than caudates (39.2% vs. 5.5%, respectively). Mean prevalence in ranid frogs was 40.7%. The only infected salamanders were Notophthalmus viridescens at 3 sites. We found infected amphibians from late winter through late spring and in 1 autumn sample. Although we encountered moribund or dead amphibians at 9 sites, most mortality events were not attributed to Bd. Chytridiomycosis was established as the probable cause of illness or death in fewer than 10 individuals. Our observations suggest a pattern of widespread and subclinical infections. However, because most of the sites in our study were visited only once, we cannot dismiss the possibility that chytridiomycosis is adversely affecting some populations. Furthermore, although there is no evidence of chytrid-associated declines in our region, the presence of this pathogen is cause for concern given global climate change and other stressors. Although presence-absence surveys may still be needed for some taxa, such as bufonids, we recommend that future researchers focus on potential population-level effects at sites where Bd is now known to occur.

  12. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection of amphibians in the Doñana National Park, Spain

    OpenAIRE

    Hidalgo-Vila, J.; Díaz-Paniagua, Carmen; Marchand, Marc A.; Cunningham, Andrew A.

    2012-01-01

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by infection with the non-hyphal, zoosporic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an emerging infectious disease recognised as a cause of recent amphibian population declines and extinctions worldwide. The Doñana National Park (DNP) is located in southwestern Spain, a country with widespread Bd infection. This protected area has a great diversity of aquatic habitats that constitute important breeding habitats for 11 native amphibian species....

  13. Terrestrial Dispersal and Potential Environmental Transmission of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis)

    OpenAIRE

    Kolby, Jonathan E.; Sara D Ramirez; Berger, Lee; Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L.; Jocque, Merlijn; Lee F Skerratt

    2015-01-01

    Dispersal and exposure to amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) is not confined to the aquatic habitat, but little is known about pathways that facilitate exposure to wild terrestrial amphibians that do not typically enter bodies of water. We explored the possible spread of Bd from an aquatic reservoir to terrestrial substrates by the emergence of recently metamorphosed infected amphibians and potential deposition of Bd-positive residue on riparian vegetation in Cusuco...

  14. Amphibian pathogens in Southeast Asian frog trade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Martin; Bickford, David; Clark, Leanne; Johnson, Arlyne; Joyner, Priscilla H; Ogg Keatts, Lucy; Khammavong, Kongsy; Nguyễn Văn, Long; Newton, Alisa; Seow, Tiffany P W; Roberton, Scott; Silithammavong, Soubanh; Singhalath, Sinpakhone; Yang, Angela; Seimon, Tracie A

    2012-12-01

    Amphibian trade is known to facilitate the geographic spread of pathogens. Here we assess the health of amphibians traded in Southeast Asia for food or as pets, focusing on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), ranavirus and general clinical condition. Samples were collected from 2,389 individual animals at 51 sites in Lao PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore for Bd screening, and 74 animals in Cambodia and Vietnam for ranavirus screening. Bd was found in one frog (n = 347) in Cambodia and 13 in Singapore (n = 419). No Bd was found in Lao PDR (n = 1,126) or Vietnam (n = 497), and no ranavirus was found in Cambodia (n = 70) or Vietnam (n = 4). Mild to severe dermatological lesions were observed in all East Asian bullfrogs Hoplobatrachus rugolosus (n = 497) sampled in farms in Vietnam. Histologic lesions consistent with sepsis were found within the lesions of three frogs and bacterial sepsis in two (n = 4); one had Gram-negative bacilli and one had acid-fast organisms consistent with mycobacterium sp. These results confirm that Bd is currently rare in amphibian trade in Southeast Asia. The presence of Mycobacterium-associated disease in farmed H. rugolosus is a cause for concern, as it may have public health implications and indicates the need for improved biosecurity in amphibian farming and trade. PMID:23404036

  15. Prevalence of the pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in an endangered population of northern leopard frogs, Rana pipiens

    OpenAIRE

    Govindarajulu Purnima; Houston Barb; Adama Doug; Voordouw Maarten J; Robinson John

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background Emerging infectious diseases threaten naïve host populations with extinction. Chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease of amphibians, is caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and has been linked to global declines in amphibians. Results We monitored the prevalence of Bd for four years in the Northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens, which is critically imperiled in British Columbia (BC), Canada. The prevalence of Bd initially increased and ...

  16. First survey for the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Connecticut (USA) finds widespread prevalence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L; Richardson, Jonathan L; Mohabir, Leon

    2013-02-28

    The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is an emerging infectious fungal pathogen of amphibians and is linked to global population declines. Until now, there has only been 1 survey for the fungus in the northeastern USA, which focused primarily on northern New England. We tested for Bd in a large number of samples (916 individuals from 116 sites) collected throughout the state of Connecticut, representing 18 native amphibian species. In addition, 239 preserved wood frog Lithobates sylvaticus tadpoles from throughout the state were screened for the fungus. Bd presence was assessed in both the fresh field swabs and the preserved samples using a sensitive quantitative PCR assay. Our contemporary survey found widespread Bd prevalence throughout Connecticut, occurring in 14 species and in 28% of all sampled animals. No preserved L. sylvaticus specimens tested positive for the fungus. Two common species, bullfrogs R. catesbeiana and green frogs R. clamitans had particularly high infection rates (0.21-0.39 and 0.33-0.42, respectively), and given their wide distribution throughout the state, we suggest they may serve as sentinels for Bd occurrence in this region. Further analyses found that several other factors increase the likelihood of infection, including life stage, host sex, and host family. Within sites, ponds with ranids, especially green frogs, increased the likelihood of Bd prevalence. By studying Bd in populations not facing mass declines, the results from this study are an important contribution to our understanding of how some amphibian species and populations remain infected yet exhibit no signs of chytridiomycosis even when Bd is widely distributed. PMID:23446966

  17. Expression Profiling the Temperature-Dependent Amphibian Response to Infection by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    OpenAIRE

    Ribas, Laia; Li, Ming-Shi; Doddington, Benjamin J.; Robert, Jacques; Seidel, Judith A.; Kroll, J. Simon; Zimmerman, Lyle B.; Grassly, Nicholas C.; Trenton W J Garner; Fisher, Matthew C

    2009-01-01

    Amphibians are experiencing a panzootic of unprecedented proportions caused by the emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). However, all species are not equally at risk of infection, and risk is further modified by environmental variables, specifically temperature. In order to understand how, and when, hosts mount a response to Bd we analysed infection dynamics and patterns of gene expression in the model amphibian species Silurana (Xenopus) tropicalis. Mathematical modelling of infe...

  18. Pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, but not B. salamandrivorans, detected on eastern hellbenders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bales, Emma K; Hyman, Oliver J; Loudon, Andrew H; Harris, Reid N; Lipps, Gregory; Chapman, Eric; Roblee, Kenneth; Kleopfer, John D; Terrell, Kimberly A

    2015-01-01

    Recent worldwide declines and extinctions of amphibian populations have been attributed to chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Until recently, Bd was thought to be the only Batrachochytrium species that infects amphibians; however a newly described species, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs), is linked to die-offs in European fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra). Little is known about the distribution, host range, or origin of Bs. In this study, we surveyed populations of an aquatic salamander that is declining in the United States, the eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis), for the presence of Bs and Bd. Skin swabs were collected from a total of 91 individuals in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia, and tested for both pathogens using duplex qPCR. Bs was not detected in any samples, suggesting it was not present in these hellbender populations (0% prevalence, 95% confidence intervals of 0.0-0.04). Bd was found on 22 hellbenders (24% prevalence, 95% confidence intervals of 0.16 ≤ 0.24 ≤ 0.34), representing all four states. All positive samples had low loads of Bd zoospores (12.7 ± 4.9 S.E.M. genome equivalents) compared to other Bd susceptible species. More research is needed to determine the impact of Batrachochytrium infection on hellbender fitness and population viability. In particular, understanding how hellbenders limit Bd infection intensity in an aquatic environment may yield important insights for amphibian conservation. This study is among the first to evaluate the distribution of Bs in the United States, and is consistent with another, which failed to detect Bs in the U.S. Knowledge about the distribution, host-range, and origin of Bs may help control the spread of this pathogen, especially to regions of high salamander diversity, such as the eastern United States. PMID:25695636

  19. Pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, but not B. salamandrivorans, detected on eastern hellbenders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma K Bales

    Full Text Available Recent worldwide declines and extinctions of amphibian populations have been attributed to chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Until recently, Bd was thought to be the only Batrachochytrium species that infects amphibians; however a newly described species, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs, is linked to die-offs in European fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra. Little is known about the distribution, host range, or origin of Bs. In this study, we surveyed populations of an aquatic salamander that is declining in the United States, the eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis, for the presence of Bs and Bd. Skin swabs were collected from a total of 91 individuals in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia, and tested for both pathogens using duplex qPCR. Bs was not detected in any samples, suggesting it was not present in these hellbender populations (0% prevalence, 95% confidence intervals of 0.0-0.04. Bd was found on 22 hellbenders (24% prevalence, 95% confidence intervals of 0.16 ≤ 0.24 ≤ 0.34, representing all four states. All positive samples had low loads of Bd zoospores (12.7 ± 4.9 S.E.M. genome equivalents compared to other Bd susceptible species. More research is needed to determine the impact of Batrachochytrium infection on hellbender fitness and population viability. In particular, understanding how hellbenders limit Bd infection intensity in an aquatic environment may yield important insights for amphibian conservation. This study is among the first to evaluate the distribution of Bs in the United States, and is consistent with another, which failed to detect Bs in the U.S. Knowledge about the distribution, host-range, and origin of Bs may help control the spread of this pathogen, especially to regions of high salamander diversity, such as the eastern United States.

  20. Spatial assessment of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in South Africa confirms endemic and widespread infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeanne Tarrant

    Full Text Available Chytridiomycosis has been identified as a major cause of global amphibian declines. Despite widespread evidence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in South African frogs, sampling for this disease has not focused on threatened species, or whether this pathogen poses a disease risk to these species. This study assessed the occurrence of Bd-infection in South African Red List species. In addition, all known records of infection from South Africa were used to model the ecological niche of Bd to provide a better understanding of spatial patterns and associated disease risk. Presence and prevalence of Bd was determined through quantitative real-time PCR of 360 skin swab samples from 17 threatened species from 38 sites across the country. Average prevalence was 14.8% for threatened species, with pathogen load varying considerably between species. MaxEnt was used to model the predicted distribution of Bd based on 683 positive records for South Africa. The resultant probability threshold map indicated that Bd is largely restricted to the wet eastern and coastal regions of South Africa. A lack of observed adverse impacts on wild threatened populations supports the endemic pathogen hypothesis for southern Africa. However, all threatened species occur within the limits of the predicted distribution for Bd, exposing them to potential Bd-associated risk factors. Predicting pathogen distribution patterns and potential impact is increasingly important for prioritising research and guiding management decisions.

  1. The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in fully aquatic salamanders from Southeastern North America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew W H Chatfield

    Full Text Available Little is known about the impact that the pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, has on fully aquatic salamander species of the eastern United States. As a first step in determining the impacts of Bd on these species, we aimed to determine the prevalence of Bd in wild populations of fully aquatic salamanders in the genera Amphiuma, Necturus, Pseudobranchus, and Siren. We sampled a total of 98 salamanders, representing nine species from sites in Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Overall, infection prevalence was found to be 0.34, with significant differences among genera but no clear geographic pattern. We also found evidence for seasonal variation, but additional sampling throughout the year is needed to clarify this pattern. The high rate of infection discovered in this study is consistent with studies of other amphibians from the southeastern United States. Coupled with previously published data on life histories and population densities, the results presented here suggest that fully aquatic salamanders may be serving as important vectors of Bd and the interaction between these species and Bd warrants additional research.

  2. Prevalence of the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, Arizona, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigafus, Brent H.; Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Schwalbe, Cecil R.

    2014-01-01

    Information on disease presence can be of use to natural resource managers, especially in areas supporting threatened and endangered species that occur coincidentally with species that are suspected vectors for disease. Ad hoc reports may be of limited utility (Muths et al. 2009), but a general sense of pathogen presence (or absence) can inform management directed at T&E species, especially in regions where disease is suspected to have caused population declines (Bradley et al. 2002). The Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis), a species susceptible to infection by the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) (Bradley et al. 2002), and the non-native, invasive American Bullfrog (L. catesbeianus), a suspected vector for chytridiomycosis (Schloegel et al. 2012, Gervasi et al. 2013), both occur at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) and surrounding lands in southern Arizona. Efforts to eradicate the bullfrog from BANWR began in 1997 (Suhre, 2010). Eradication from the southern portion of BANWR was successful by 2008 but the bullfrog remains present at the Arivaca Cienega and in areas immediately adjacent to the refuge (Fig. 1). Curtailing the re-invasion of the bullfrog into BANWR will require vigilance as to ensure the health of Chiricahua Leopard Frog populations.

  3. Short-term exposure to warm microhabitats could explain amphibian persistence with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

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    Joshua H Daskin

    Full Text Available Environmental conditions can alter the outcomes of symbiotic interactions. Many amphibian species have declined due to chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, but many others persist despite high Bd infection prevalence. This indicates that Bd's virulence is lower, or it may even be a commensal, in some hosts. In the Australian Wet Tropics, chytridiomycosis extirpated Litoria nannotis from high-elevation rain forests in the early 1990 s. Although the species is recolonizing many sites, no population has fully recovered. Litoria lorica disappeared from all known sites in the early 1990 s and was thought globally extinct, but a new population was discovered in 2008, in an upland dry forest habitat it shares with L. nannotis. All frogs of both species observed during three population censuses were apparently healthy, but most carried Bd. Frogs perch on sun-warmed rocks in dry forest streams, possibly keeping Bd infections below the lethal threshold attained in cooler rain forests. We tested whether short-term elevated temperatures can hamper Bd growth in vitro over one generation (four days. Simulating the temperatures available to frogs on strongly and moderately warmed rocks in dry forests, by incubating cultures at 33°C for one hour daily, reduced Bd growth below that of Bd held at 15°C constantly (representing rain forest habitats. Even small decreases in the exponential growth rate of Bd on hosts may contribute to the survival of frogs in dry forests.

  4. Immune Defenses against Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a Fungus Linked to Global Amphibian Declines, in the South African Clawed Frog, Xenopus laevis▿

    OpenAIRE

    Ramsey, Jeremy P.; Reinert, Laura K.; Harper, Laura K.; Douglas C Woodhams; Rollins-Smith, Louise A.

    2010-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a chytrid fungus that causes the lethal skin disease chytridiomycosis in amphibians. It is regarded as an emerging infectious disease affecting diverse amphibian populations in many parts of the world. Because there are few model amphibian species for immunological studies, little is known about immune defenses against B. dendrobatidis. We show here that the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, is a suitable model for investigating immunity to this path...

  5. Filling a gap in the distribution of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: evidence in amphibians from northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wei; Fan, Liqing; Soto-Azat, Claudio; Yan, Shaofei; Gao, Xu; Liu, Xuan; Wang, Supen; Liu, Conghui; Yang, Xuejiao; Li, Yiming

    2016-03-30

    Chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been recognized as a major driver of amphibian declines worldwide. Central and northern Asia remain as the greatest gap in the knowledge of the global distribution of Bd. In China, Bd has recently been recorded from south and central regions, but areas in the north remain poorly surveyed. In addition, a recent increase in amphibian farming and trade has put this region at high risk for Bd introduction. To investigate this, we collected a total of 1284 non-invasive skin swabs from wild and captive anurans and caudates, including free-ranging, farmed, ornamental, and museum-preserved amphibians. Bd was detected at low prevalence (1.1%, 12 of 1073) in live wild amphibians, representing the first report of Bd infecting anurans from remote areas of northwestern China. We were unable to obtain evidence of the historical presence of Bd from museum amphibians (n = 72). Alarmingly, Bd was not detected in wild amphibians from the provinces of northeastern China (>700 individuals tested), but was widely present (15.1%, 21 of 139) in amphibians traded in this region. We suggest that urgent implementation of measures is required to reduce the possibility of further spread or inadvertent introduction of Bd to China. It is unknown whether Bd in northern China belongs to endemic and/or exotic genotypes, and this should be the focus of future research. PMID:27025313

  6. Prevalence of the pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in an endangered population of northern leopard frogs, Rana pipiens

    OpenAIRE

    Voordouw, Maarten J.; Adama, Doug; Houston, Barb; Govindarajulu, Purnima; Robinson, John

    2011-01-01

    Background Emerging infectious diseases threaten naïve host populations with extinction. Chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease of amphibians, is caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and has been linked to global declines in amphibians. Results We monitored the prevalence of Bd for four years in the Northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens, which is critically imperiled in British Columbia (BC), Canada. The prevalence of Bd initially increased and then r...

  7. Variation in the Presence of Anti-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Bacteria of Amphibians Across Life Stages and Elevations in Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bresciano, J C; Salvador, C A; Paz-Y-Miño, C; Parody-Merino, A M; Bosch, J; Woodhams, D C

    2015-06-01

    Amphibian populations are decreasing worldwide due to a variety of factors. In South America, the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is linked to many population declines. The pathogenic effect of Bd on amphibians can be inhibited by specific bacteria present on host skin. This symbiotic association allows some amphibians to resist the development of the disease chytridiomycosis. Here, we aimed (1) to determine for the first time if specific anti-Bd bacteria are present on amphibians in the Andes of Ecuador, (2) to monitor anti-Bd bacteria across developmental stages in a focal amphibian, the Andean marsupial tree frog, Gastrotheca riobambae, that deposits larvae in aquatic habitats, and (3) to compare the Bd presence associated with host assemblages including 10 species at sites ranging in biogeography from Amazonian rainforest (450 masl) to Andes montane rainforest (3200 masl). We sampled and identified skin-associated bacteria of frogs in the field using swabs and a novel methodology of aerobic counting plates, and a combination of morphological, biochemical, and molecular identification techniques. The following anti-Bd bacteria were identified and found to be shared among several hosts at high-elevation sites where Bd was present at a prevalence of 32.5%: Janthinobacterium lividum, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Serratia sp. Bd were detected in Gastrotheca spp. and not detected in the lowlands (sites below 1000 masl). In G. riobambae, recognized Bd-resistant bacteria start to be present at the metamorphic stage. Overall bacterial abundance was significantly higher post-metamorphosis and on species sampled at lower elevations. Further metagenomic studies are needed to evaluate the roles of host identity, life-history stage, and biogeography of the microbiota and their function in disease resistance. PMID:25669915

  8. Heterogeneous occupancy and density estimates of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in waters of North America.

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    Tara Chestnut

    Full Text Available Biodiversity losses are occurring worldwide due to a combination of stressors. For example, by one estimate, 40% of amphibian species are vulnerable to extinction, and disease is one threat to amphibian populations. The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, is a contributor to amphibian declines worldwide. Bd research has focused on the dynamics of the pathogen in its amphibian hosts, with little emphasis on investigating the dynamics of free-living Bd. Therefore, we investigated patterns of Bd occupancy and density in amphibian habitats using occupancy models, powerful tools for estimating site occupancy and detection probability. Occupancy models have been used to investigate diseases where the focus was on pathogen occurrence in the host. We applied occupancy models to investigate free-living Bd in North American surface waters to determine Bd seasonality, relationships between Bd site occupancy and habitat attributes, and probability of detection from water samples as a function of the number of samples, sample volume, and water quality. We also report on the temporal patterns of Bd density from a 4-year case study of a Bd-positive wetland. We provide evidence that Bd occurs in the environment year-round. Bd exhibited temporal and spatial heterogeneity in density, but did not exhibit seasonality in occupancy. Bd was detected in all months, typically at less than 100 zoospores L(-1. The highest density observed was ∼3 million zoospores L(-1. We detected Bd in 47% of sites sampled, but estimated that Bd occupied 61% of sites, highlighting the importance of accounting for imperfect detection. When Bd was present, there was a 95% chance of detecting it with four samples of 600 ml of water or five samples of 60 mL. Our findings provide important baseline information to advance the study of Bd disease ecology, and advance our understanding of amphibian exposure to free

  9. Heterogeneous occupancy and density estimates of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in waters of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chestnut, Tara E.; Anderson, Chauncey; Popa, Radu; Blaustein, Andrew R.; Voytek, Mary; Olson, Deanna H.; Kirshtein, Julie

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity losses are occurring worldwide due to a combination of stressors. For example, by one estimate, 40% of amphibian species are vulnerable to extinction, and disease is one threat to amphibian populations. The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a contributor to amphibian declines worldwide. Bd research has focused on the dynamics of the pathogen in its amphibian hosts, with little emphasis on investigating the dynamics of free-living Bd. Therefore, we investigated patterns of Bd occupancy and density in amphibian habitats using occupancy models, powerful tools for estimating site occupancy and detection probability. Occupancy models have been used to investigate diseases where the focus was on pathogen occurrence in the host. We applied occupancy models to investigate free-living Bd in North American surface waters to determine Bd seasonality, relationships between Bd site occupancy and habitat attributes, and probability of detection from water samples as a function of the number of samples, sample volume, and water quality. We also report on the temporal patterns of Bd density from a 4-year case study of a Bd-positive wetland. We provide evidence that Bd occurs in the environment year-round. Bd exhibited temporal and spatial heterogeneity in density, but did not exhibit seasonality in occupancy. Bd was detected in all months, typically at less than 100 zoospores L−1. The highest density observed was ∼3 million zoospores L−1. We detected Bd in 47% of sites sampled, but estimated that Bd occupied 61% of sites, highlighting the importance of accounting for imperfect detection. When Bd was present, there was a 95% chance of detecting it with four samples of 600 ml of water or five samples of 60 mL. Our findings provide important baseline information to advance the study of Bd disease ecology, and advance our understanding of amphibian exposure to free-living Bd in aquatic

  10. Motile zoospores of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis move away from antifungal metabolites produced by amphibian skin bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Brianna A; Walton, D Brian; Harris, Reid N

    2011-03-01

    Chytridiomycosis is an amphibian skin disease that threatens amphibian biodiversity worldwide. The fungal agent of chytridiomycosis is Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. There is considerable variation in disease outcomes such that some individuals and populations co-exist with the fungus and others quickly succumb to disease. Amphibians in populations that co-exist with the B. dendrobatidis have sublethal infections on their skins. Symbiotic skin bacteria have been shown in experiments and surveys to play a role in protecting amphibians from chytridiomycosis. Little is known about the mechanisms that antifungal skin bacteria use to ameliorate the effects of B. dendrobatidis. In this study, we identified that B. dendrobatidis isolate JEL 310 zoospores display chemotaxis, in the presence of two bacterially-produced metabolites (2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol and indole-3-carboxaldehyde). In the presence of either metabolite, B. dendrobatidis zoospores move more frequently away from the metabolite. Using parameters estimated from this study, a simple stochastic model of a random walk on a lattice was evaluated. The model shows that these individual behaviors over short time-scales directly lead to population behaviors over long time-scales, such that most zoospores will escape, or not infect a tryptone substrate containing the bacterially-produced metabolite, whereas many zoospores will infect the tryptone substrate containing no metabolite. These results suggest that amphibians that have skin bacteria produce antifungal metabolites that might be able to keep B. dendrobatidis infections below the lethal threshold and thus are able to co-exist with the fungus. PMID:21769695

  11. Unexpected rarity of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Appalachian Plethodon Salamanders: 1957-2011.

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    Carly Muletz

    Full Text Available Widespread population declines in terrestrial Plethodon salamanders occurred by the 1980s throughout the Appalachian Mountains, the center of global salamander diversity, with no evident recovery. We tested the hypothesis that the historic introduction and spread of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd into the eastern US was followed by Plethodon population declines. We expected to detect elevated prevalence of Bd prior to population declines as observed for Central American plethodontids. We tested 1,498 Plethodon salamanders of 12 species (892 museum specimens, 606 wild individuals for the presence of Bd, and tested 94 of those for Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs and for ranavirus. Field samples were collected in 2011 from 48 field sites across a 767 km transect. Historic samples from museum specimens were collected at five sites with the greatest number and longest duration of collection (1957-987, four of which were sampled in the field in 2011. None of the museum specimens were positive for Bd, but four P. cinereus from field surveys were positive. The overall Bd prevalence from 1957-2011 for 12 Plethodon species sampled across a 757 km transect was 0.2% (95% CI 0.1-0.7%. All 94 samples were negative for Bs and ranavirus. We conclude that known amphibian pathogens are unlikely causes for declines in these Plethodon populations. Furthermore, these exceptionally low levels of Bd, in a region known to harbor Bd, may indicate that Plethodon specific traits limit Bd infection.

  12. Germ tube mediated invasion of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibian skin is host dependent.

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    Pascale Van Rooij

    Full Text Available Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd is the causative agent of chytridiomycosis, a fungal skin disease in amphibians and driver of worldwide amphibian declines.We focussed on the early stages of infection by Bd in 3 amphibian species with a differential susceptibility to chytridiomycosis. Skin explants of Alytes muletensis, Litoria caerulea and Xenopus leavis were exposed to Bd in an Ussing chamber for 3 to 5 days. Early interactions of Bd with amphibian skin were observed using light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. To validate the observations in vitro, comparison was made with skin from experimentally infected frogs. Additional in vitro experiments were performed to elucidate the process of intracellular colonization in L. caerulea. Early interactions of Bd with amphibian skin are: attachment of zoospores to host skin, zoospore germination, germ tube development, penetration into skin cells, invasive growth in the host skin, resulting in the loss of host cell cytoplasm. Inoculation of A. muletensis and L. caerulea skin was followed within 24 h by endobiotic development, with sporangia located intracellularly in the skin. Evidence is provided of how intracellular colonization is established and how colonization by Bd proceeds to deeper skin layers. Older thalli develop rhizoid-like structures that spread to deeper skin layers, form a swelling inside the host cell to finally give rise to a new thallus. In X. laevis, interaction of Bd with skin was limited to an epibiotic state, with sporangia developing upon the skin. Only the superficial epidermis was affected. Epidermal cells seemed to be used as a nutrient source without development of intracellular thalli. The in vitro data agreed with the results obtained after experimental infection of the studied frog species. These data suggest that the colonization strategy of B. dendrobatidis is host dependent, with the extent of colonization most likely determined by inherent

  13. Populations of a susceptible amphibian species can grow despite the presence of a pathogenic chytrid fungus.

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    Ursina Tobler

    Full Text Available Disease can be an important driver of host population dynamics and epizootics can cause severe host population declines. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, the pathogen causing amphibian chytridiomycosis, may occur epizootically or enzootically and can harm amphibian populations in many ways. While effects of Bd epizootics are well documented, the effects of enzootic Bd have rarely been described. We used a state-space model that accounts for observation error to test whether population trends of a species highly susceptible to Bd, the midwife toad Alytes obstetricans, are negatively affected by the enzootic presence of the pathogen. Unexpectedly, Bd had no negative effect on population growth rates from 2002-2008. This suggests that negative effects of disease on individuals do not necessarily translate into negative effects at the population level. Populations of amphibian species that are susceptible to the emerging disease chytridiomycosis can persist despite the enzootic presence of the pathogen under current environmental conditions.

  14. Amphibian Symbiotic Bacteria Do Not Show a Universal Ability To Inhibit Growth of the Global Panzootic Lineage of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antwis, Rachael E; Preziosi, Richard F; Harrison, Xavier A; Garner, Trenton W J

    2015-06-01

    Microbiomes associated with multicellular organisms influence the disease susceptibility of hosts. The potential exists for such bacteria to protect wildlife from infectious diseases, particularly in the case of the globally distributed and highly virulent fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis of the global panzootic lineage (B. dendrobatidis GPL), responsible for mass extinctions and population declines of amphibians. B. dendrobatidis GPL exhibits wide genotypic and virulence variation, and the ability of candidate probiotics to restrict growth across B. dendrobatidis isolates has not previously been considered. Here we show that only a small proportion of candidate probiotics exhibited broad-spectrum inhibition across B. dendrobatidis GPL isolates. Moreover, some bacterial genera showed significantly greater inhibition than others, but overall, genus and species were not particularly reliable predictors of inhibitory capabilities. These findings indicate that bacterial consortia are likely to offer a more stable and effective approach to probiotics, particularly if related bacteria are selected from genera with greater antimicrobial capabilities. Together these results highlight a complex interaction between pathogens and host-associated symbiotic bacteria that will require consideration in the development of bacterial probiotics for wildlife conservation. Future efforts to construct protective microbiomes should incorporate bacteria that exhibit broad-spectrum inhibition of B. dendrobatidis GPL isolates. PMID:25819964

  15. Physiological responses of Brazilian amphibians to an enzootic infection of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovo, Rafael P; Andrade, Denis V; Toledo, Luís Felipe; Longo, Ana V; Rodriguez, David; Haddad, Célio F B; Zamudio, Kelly R; Becker, C Guilherme

    2016-01-13

    Pathophysiological effects of clinical chytridiomycosis in amphibians include disorders of cutaneous osmoregulation and disruption of the ability to rehydrate, which can lead to decreased host fitness or mortality. Less attention has been given to physiological responses of hosts where enzootic infections of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) do not cause apparent population declines in the wild. Here, we experimentally tested whether an enzootic strain of Bd causes significant mortality and alters host water balance (evaporative water loss, EWL; skin resistance, R(s); and water uptake, WU) in individuals of 3 Brazilian amphibian species (Dendropsophus minutus, n = 19; Ischnocnema parva, n = 17; Brachycephalus pitanga, n = 15). Infections with enzootic Bd caused no significant mortality, but we found an increase in R(s) in 1 host species concomitant with a reduction in EWL. These results suggest that enzootic Bd infections can indeed cause sub-lethal effects that could lead to reduction of host fitness in Brazilian frogs and that these effects vary among species. Thus, our findings underscore the need for further assessment of physiological responses to Bd infections in different host species, even in cases of sub-clinical chytridiomycosis and long-term enzootic infections in natural populations. PMID:26758658

  16. Elevated Corticosterone Levels and Changes in Amphibian Behavior Are Associated with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) Infection and Bd Lineage

    OpenAIRE

    Gabor, Caitlin R.; Fisher, Matthew C; Bosch, Jaime

    2015-01-01

    Few studies have examined the role hormones play in mediating clinical changes associated with infection by the parasite Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Glucocorticoid (GC) hormones such as corticosteroids (CORT) regulate homeostasis and likely play a key role in response to infection in amphibians. We explore the relationship between CORT release rates and Bd infection in tadpoles of the common midwife toad, Alytes obstetricians, using a non-invasive water-borne hormone collection metho...

  17. Prevalence of the pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in an endangered population of northern leopard frogs, Rana pipiens

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    Govindarajulu Purnima

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Emerging infectious diseases threaten naïve host populations with extinction. Chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease of amphibians, is caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd and has been linked to global declines in amphibians. Results We monitored the prevalence of Bd for four years in the Northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens, which is critically imperiled in British Columbia (BC, Canada. The prevalence of Bd initially increased and then remained constant over the last three years of the study. Young of the year emerging from breeding ponds in summer were rarely infected with Bd. Some individuals cleared their Bd infections and the return rate between infected and uninfected individuals was not significantly different. Conclusions The BC population of R. pipiens appears to have evolved a level of resistance that allows it to co-exist with Bd. However, this small population of R. pipiens remains vulnerable to extinction.

  18. Amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in coastal and montane California, USA Anurans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellers, Gary M.; Cole, Rebecca A.; Reinitz, David M.; Kleeman, Patrick M.

    2011-01-01

    We found amphibian chytrid fungus (Bd = Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) to be widespread within a coastalwatershed at Point Reyes National Seashore, California and within two high elevation watersheds at Yosemite NationalPark, California. Bd was associated with all six species that we sampled (Bufo boreas, B. canorus, Pseudacris regilla, Ranadraytonii, R. sierrae, and Lithobates catesbeianus). For those species sampled at 10 or more sites within a watershed, thepercentage of Bd-positive sites varied from a low of 20.7% for P. regilla at one Yosemite watershed to a high of 79.6% forP. regilla at the Olema watershed at Point Reyes. At Olema, the percent of Bd-positive water bodies declined each year ofour study (2005-2007). Because P. regilla was the only species found in all watersheds, we used that species to evaluatehabitat variables related to the sites where P. regilla was Bd-positive. At Olema, significant variables were year, length ofshoreline (perimeter), percentage cover of rooted vegetation, and water depth. At the two Yosemite watersheds, waterdepth, water temperature, and silt/mud were the most important covariates, though the importance of these three factorsdiffered between the two watersheds. The presence of Bd in species that are not declining suggests that some of theamphibians in our study were innately resistant to Bd, or had developed resistance after Bd became established.

  19. Development of antimicrobial peptide defenses of southern leopard frogs, Rana sphenocephala, against the pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holden, Whitney M; Reinert, Laura K; Hanlon, Shane M; Parris, Matthew J; Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2015-01-01

    Amphibian species face the growing threat of extinction due to the emerging fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which causes the disease chytridiomycosis. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) produced in granular glands of the skin are an important defense against this pathogen. Little is known about the ontogeny of AMP production or the impact of AMPs on potentially beneficial symbiotic skin bacteria. We show here that Rana (Lithobates) sphenocephala produces a mixture of four AMPs with activity against B. dendrobatidis, and we report the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of synthesized replicates of these four AMPs tested against B. dendrobatidis. Using mass spectrometry and protein quantification assays, we observed that R. sphenocephala does not secrete a mature suite of AMPs until approximately 12 weeks post-metamorphosis, and geographically disparate populations produce a different suite of peptides. Use of norepinephrine to induce maximal secretion significantly reduced levels of culturable skin bacteria. PMID:25218643

  20. Genomic Correlates of Virulence Attenuation in the Deadly Amphibian Chytrid Fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Refsnider, Jeanine M; Poorten, Thomas J; Langhammer, Penny F; Burrowes, Patricia A; Rosenblum, Erica Bree

    2015-11-01

    Emerging infectious diseasespose a significant threat to global health, but predicting disease outcomes for particular species can be complicated when pathogen virulence varies across space, time, or hosts. The pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused worldwide declines in frog populations. Not only do Bd isolates from wild populations vary in virulence, but virulence shifts can occur over short timescales when Bd is maintained in the laboratory. We leveraged changes in Bd virulence over multiple generations of passage to better understand mechanisms of pathogen virulence. We conducted whole-genome resequencing of two samples of the same Bd isolate, differing only in passage history, to identify genomic processes associated with virulence attenuation. The isolate with shorter passage history (and greater virulence) had greater chromosome copy numbers than the isolate maintained in culture for longer, suggesting that virulence attenuation may be associated with loss of chromosome copies. Our results suggest that genomic processes proposed as mechanisms for rapid evolution in Bd are correlated with virulence attenuation in laboratory culture within a single lineage of Bd. Moreover, these genomic processes can occur over extremely short timescales. On a practical level, our results underscore the importance of immediately cryo-archiving new Bd isolates and using fresh isolates, rather than samples cultured in the laboratory for long periods, for laboratory infection experiments. Finally, when attempting to predict disease outcomes for this ecologically important pathogen, it is critical to consider existing variation in virulence among isolates and the potential for shifts in virulence over short timescales. PMID:26333840

  1. Amphibian pathogens at northern latitudes: presence of chytrid fungus and ranavirus in northeastern Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Aoust-Messier, Andrée-Michelle; Echaubard, Pierre; Billy, Vincent; Lesbarrères, David

    2015-03-01

    Infections by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and members of the genus Ranavirus (Rv) are increasingly reported as significant determinants of amphibian population die-offs. The complexity associated with their transmission and spatial distribution leads to an increase in demand for comprehensive reporting systems and global mapping of their distribution. Here, we document the distribution of these 2 pathogens in a remote northern temperate lowland where environmental sensitivity is high, providing important insight into the pathogens' natural history and infection patterns. Wood frog Lithobates sylvaticus tissues were collected from the James Bay area in northeastern Canada and were screened for the presence of Bd and Rv using conventional and real-time PCR. Both pathogens were present in the study area, which is the northernmost record in eastern North America. Interestingly, different patterns of distribution were observed between the eastern and western coasts of James Bay, suggesting differences in the spatial and transmission dynamics for each pathogen. Anthropogenic introduction may still influence the distribution patterns observed, even at these latitudes. The presence of infections in this remote area also raises further questions on the risk these pathogens pose to northern amphibian communities. We encourage further research in remote locations for a better understanding of these pathogens, their transmission dynamics, and especially their respective impacts on amphibian populations worldwide. PMID:25751857

  2. Salamanders increase their feeding activity when infected with the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, Alexandra; McAllister, Caroline; DeMarchi, Joseph; Zidek, Makenzie; Murone, Julie; Venesky, Matthew D

    2015-10-27

    Immune function is a costly line of defense against parasitism. When infected with a parasite, hosts frequently lose mass due to these costs. However, some infected hosts (e.g. highly resistant individuals) can clear infections with seemingly little fitness losses, but few studies have tested how resistant hosts mitigate these costly immune defenses. We explored this topic using eastern red-backed salamanders Plethodon cinereus and the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Bd is generally lethal for amphibians, and stereotypical symptoms of infection include loss in mass and deficits in feeding. However, individuals of P. cinereus can clear their Bd infections with seemingly few fitness costs. We conducted an experiment in which we repeatedly observed the feeding activity of Bd-infected and non-infected salamanders. We found that Bd-infected salamanders generally increased their feeding activity compared to non-infected salamanders. The fact that we did not observe any differences in mass change between the treatments suggests that increased feeding might help Bd-infected salamanders minimize the costs of an effective immune response. PMID:26503775

  3. A dilution effect in the emerging amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    OpenAIRE

    Catherine L Searle; Biga, Lindsay M.; Spatafora, Joseph W.; BLAUSTEIN, ANDREW R.

    2011-01-01

    Global declines in biodiversity are altering disease dynamics in complex and multifaceted ways. Changes in biodiversity can have several outcomes on disease risk, including dilution and amplification effects, both of which can have a profound influence on the effects of disease in a community. The dilution effect occurs when biodiversity and disease risk are inversely related, whereas the amplification effect is a positive relationship between biodiversity and disease risk. We tested these ef...

  4. Chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has nonamphibian hosts and releases chemicals that cause pathology in the absence of infection

    OpenAIRE

    McMahon, Taegan A.; Laura A Brannelly; Chatfield, Matthew W. H.; Johnson, Pieter T. J.; Joseph, Maxwell B.; Valerie J McKenzie; Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L.; Venesky, Matthew D.; Rohr, Jason R.

    2012-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a pathogenic chytrid fungus implicated in worldwide amphibian declines, is considered an amphibian specialist. Identification of nonamphibian hosts could help explain the virulence, heterogeneous distribution, variable rates of spread, and persistence of B. dendrobatidis in freshwater ecosystems even after amphibian extirpations. Here, we test whether mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) and crayfish (Procambarus spp. and Orconectes virilis), which are syntopic wi...

  5. Tolerance of fungal infection in European water frogs exposed to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis after experimental reduction of innate immune defenses

    OpenAIRE

    Woodhams Douglas C; Bigler Laurent; Marschang Rachel

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background While emerging diseases are affecting many populations of amphibians, some populations are resistant. Determining the relative contributions of factors influencing disease resistance is critical for effective conservation management. Innate immune defenses in amphibian skin are vital host factors against a number of emerging pathogens such as ranaviruses and the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Adult water frogs from Switzerland (Pelophylax esc...

  6. ITS1 copy number varies among Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis strains: implications for qPCR estimates of infection intensity from field-collected amphibian skin swabs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana V Longo

    Full Text Available Genomic studies of the amphibian-killing fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, [Bd] identified three highly divergent genetic lineages, only one of which has a global distribution. Bd strains within these linages show variable genomic content due to differential loss of heterozygosity and recombination. The current quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR protocol to detect the fungus from amphibian skin swabs targets the intergenic transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1 region using a TaqMan fluorescent probe specific to Bd. We investigated the consequences of genomic differences in the quantification of ITS1 from eight distinct Bd strains, including representatives from North America, South America, the Caribbean, and Australia. To test for potential differences in amplification, we compared qPCR standards made from Bd zoospore counts for each strain, and showed that they differ significantly in amplification rates. To test potential mechanisms leading to strain differences in qPCR reaction parameters (slope and y-intercept, we: a compared standard curves from the same strains made from extracted Bd genomic DNA in equimolar solutions, b quantified the number of ITS1 copies per zoospore using a standard curve made from PCR-amplicons of the ITS1 region, and c cloned and sequenced PCR-amplified ITS1 regions from these same strains to verify the presence of the probe site in all haplotypes. We found high strain variability in ITS1 copy number, ranging from 10 to 144 copies per single zoospore. Our results indicate that genome size might explain strain differences in ITS1 copy number, but not ITS1 sequence variation because the probe-binding site and primers were conserved across all haplotypes. For standards constructed from uncharacterized Bd strains, we recommend the use of single ITS1 PCR-amplicons as the absolute standard in conjunction with current quantitative assays to inform on copy number variation and provide universal estimates of pathogen

  7. Elevated Corticosterone Levels and Changes in Amphibian Behavior Are Associated with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd Infection and Bd Lineage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caitlin R Gabor

    Full Text Available Few studies have examined the role hormones play in mediating clinical changes associated with infection by the parasite Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Glucocorticoid (GC hormones such as corticosteroids (CORT regulate homeostasis and likely play a key role in response to infection in amphibians. We explore the relationship between CORT release rates and Bd infection in tadpoles of the common midwife toad, Alytes obstetricians, using a non-invasive water-borne hormone collection method across seven populations. We further examined whether tadpoles of A. muletensis infected with a hypervirulent lineage of Bd, BdGPL, had greater CORT release rates than those infected with a hypovirulent lineage, BdCAPE. Finally, we examined the relationship between righting reflex and CORT release rates in infected metamorphic toads of A. obstetricans. We found an interaction between elevation and Bd infection status confirming that altitude is associated with the overall severity of infection. In tandem, increasing elevation was associated with increasing CORT release rates. Tadpoles infected with the hypervirulent BdGPL had significantly higher CORT release rates than tadpoles infected with BdCAPE showing that more aggressive infections lead to increased CORT release rates. Infected metamorphs with higher CORT levels had an impaired righting reflex, our defined experimental endpoint. These results provide evidence that CORT is associated with an amphibian's vulnerability to Bd infection, and that CORT is also affected by the aggressiveness of infection by Bd. Together these results indicate that CORT is a viable biomarker of amphibian stress.

  8. Distribution and pathogenicity of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in boreal toads from the grand teton area of western wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, P.J.; St-Hilaire, S.; Bruer, S.; Corn, P.S.; Peterson, C.R.

    2009-01-01

    The pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the skin disease chytridiomycosis, has been linked to amphibian population declines and extinctions worldwide. Bd has been implicated in recent declines of boreal toads, Bufo boreas boreas, in Colorado but populations of boreal toads in western Wyoming have high prevalence of Bd without suffering catastrophic mortality. In a field and laboratory study, we investigated the prevalence of Bd in boreal toads from the Grand Teton ecosystem (GRTE) in Wyoming and tested the pathogenicity of Bd to these toads in several environments. The pathogen was present in breeding adults at all 10 sites sampled, with a mean prevalence of 67%. In an experiment with juvenile toadlets housed individually in wet environments, 106 zoospores of Bd isolated from GRTE caused lethal disease in all Wyoming and Colorado animals within 35 days. Survival time was longer in toadlets from Wyoming than Colorado and in toadlets spending more time in dry sites. In a second trial involving Colorado toadlets exposed to 35% fewer Bd zoospores, infection peaked and subsided over 68 days with no lethal chytridiomycosis in any treatment. However, compared with drier aquaria with dry refuges, Bd infection intensity was 41% higher in more humid aquaria and 81% higher without dry refuges available. Our findings suggest that although widely infected in nature, Wyoming toads may escape chytridiomycosis due to a slight advantage in innate resistance or because their native habitat hinders Bd growth or provides more opportunities to reduce pathogen loads behaviorally than in Colorado. ?? 2009 International Association for Ecology and Health.

  9. Experimental evidence for a cost of resistance to the fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, for the palmate newt, Lissotriton helveticus

    OpenAIRE

    Cheatsazan, Hamed; de Almedia, Ana P Lugon Gavinho; Russell, Andrew F.; Bonneaud, Camille

    2013-01-01

    Background Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the causative agent of chytridiomycosis, is decimating amphibians worldwide. Unsurprisingly, the majority of studies have therefore concentrated on documenting morbidity and mortality of susceptible species and projecting population consequences as a consequence of this emerging infectious disease. Currently, there is a paucity of studies investigating the sub-lethal costs of Bd in apparently asymptomatic species, particularly in controlled expe...

  10. Amphibian chytridiomycosis: a review with focus on fungus-host interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Van Rooij, Pascale; Martel, An; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank

    2015-01-01

    Amphibian declines and extinctions are emblematic for the current sixth mass extinction event. Infectious drivers of these declines include the recently emerged fungal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Chytridiomycota). The skin disease caused by these fungi is named chytridiomycosis and affects the vital function of amphibian skin. Not all amphibians respond equally to infection and host responses might range from resistant, over tolerant to susc...

  11. Effects of Biotic and Abiotic Setting on a Host-Pathogen Relationship: How Environmental and Community Characteristics Influence Infection Prevalence and Intensity of Amphibian Chytrid on California's Central Coast

    OpenAIRE

    Hemingway, Valentine

    2015-01-01

    In the face of swift anthropogenic change, it is essential to examine the broad ecological context for species of concern using a variety of approaches in order to understand their interactions in a natural context. Host-pathogen relationships offer a close interaction to examine how each are acted upon by biotic and abiotic conditions. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, an emerging infectious disease of amphibians, has been implicated with wholesale loss and marked declines in amphibian speci...

  12. Effects of Pesticide Mixtures on Host-Pathogen Dynamics of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buck, Julia C.; Hua, Jessica; Brogan, William R.; Dang, Trang D.; Urbina, Jenny; Bendis, Randall J.; Stoler, Aaron B.; Blaustein, Andrew R.; Relyea, Rick A.

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic and natural stressors often interact to affect organisms. Amphibian populations are undergoing unprecedented declines and extinctions with pesticides and emerging infectious diseases implicated as causal factors. Although these factors often co-occur, their effects on amphibians are usually examined in isolation. We hypothesized that exposure of larval and metamorphic amphibians to ecologically relevant concentrations of pesticide mixtures would increase their post-metamorphic susceptibility to the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a pathogen that has contributed to amphibian population declines worldwide. We exposed five anuran species (Pacific treefrog, Pseudacris regilla; spring peeper, Pseudacris crucifer; Cascades frog, Rana cascadae; northern leopard frog, Lithobates pipiens; and western toad, Anaxyrus boreas) from three families to mixtures of four common insecticides (chlorpyrifos, carbaryl, permethrin, and endosulfan) or herbicides (glyphosate, acetochlor, atrazine, and 2,4-D) or a control treatment, either as tadpoles or as newly metamorphic individuals (metamorphs). Subsequently, we exposed animals to Bd or a control inoculate after metamorphosis and compared survival and Bd load. Bd exposure significantly increased mortality in Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads, but not in Cascades frogs or northern leopard frogs. However, the effects of pesticide exposure on mortality were negligible, regardless of the timing of exposure. Bd load varied considerably across species; Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads had the highest loads, whereas Cascades frogs and northern leopard frogs had the lowest loads. The influence of pesticide exposure on Bd load depended on the amphibian species, timing of pesticide exposure, and the particular pesticide treatment. Our results suggest that exposure to realistic pesticide concentrations has minimal effects on Bd-induced mortality, but can alter Bd load. This result

  13. Effects of Pesticide Mixtures on Host-Pathogen Dynamics of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia C Buck

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic and natural stressors often interact to affect organisms. Amphibian populations are undergoing unprecedented declines and extinctions with pesticides and emerging infectious diseases implicated as causal factors. Although these factors often co-occur, their effects on amphibians are usually examined in isolation. We hypothesized that exposure of larval and metamorphic amphibians to ecologically relevant concentrations of pesticide mixtures would increase their post-metamorphic susceptibility to the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, a pathogen that has contributed to amphibian population declines worldwide. We exposed five anuran species (Pacific treefrog, Pseudacris regilla; spring peeper, Pseudacris crucifer; Cascades frog, Rana cascadae; northern leopard frog, Lithobates pipiens; and western toad, Anaxyrus boreas from three families to mixtures of four common insecticides (chlorpyrifos, carbaryl, permethrin, and endosulfan or herbicides (glyphosate, acetochlor, atrazine, and 2,4-D or a control treatment, either as tadpoles or as newly metamorphic individuals (metamorphs. Subsequently, we exposed animals to Bd or a control inoculate after metamorphosis and compared survival and Bd load. Bd exposure significantly increased mortality in Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads, but not in Cascades frogs or northern leopard frogs. However, the effects of pesticide exposure on mortality were negligible, regardless of the timing of exposure. Bd load varied considerably across species; Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads had the highest loads, whereas Cascades frogs and northern leopard frogs had the lowest loads. The influence of pesticide exposure on Bd load depended on the amphibian species, timing of pesticide exposure, and the particular pesticide treatment. Our results suggest that exposure to realistic pesticide concentrations has minimal effects on Bd-induced mortality, but can alter Bd load

  14. Diversity of Andean amphibians of the Tamá National Natural Park in Colombia: a survey for the presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    OpenAIRE

    Acevedo, A. A.; R. de Franco; Carrero, D. A.

    2016-01-01

    Changes in diversity and possible decreases in populations of amphibians have not yet been determined in many areas in the Andes. This study aimed to develop an inventory of the biodiversity of amphibians in the Andean areas of the Tamá National Natural Park (Tamá NNP) and to evaluate the patterns of infection by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in preserved and degraded areas. We performed samplings focused on three habitats (forest, open areas and streams) in four localities from 2,000 t...

  15. Unexpected Rarity of the Pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Appalachian Plethodon Salamanders: 1957–2011

    OpenAIRE

    Muletz, Carly; Nicholas M Caruso; Fleischer, Robert C; Roy W McDiarmid; Lips, Karen R.

    2014-01-01

    Widespread population declines in terrestrial Plethodon salamanders occurred by the 1980s throughout the Appalachian Mountains, the center of global salamander diversity, with no evident recovery. We tested the hypothesis that the historic introduction and spread of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) into the eastern US was followed by Plethodon population declines. We expected to detect elevated prevalence of Bd prior to population declines as observed for Central Amer...

  16. Chytrid fungus acts as a generalist pathogen infecting species-rich amphibian families in Brazilian rainforests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valencia-Aguilar, Anyelet; Ruano-Fajardo, Gustavo; Lambertini, Carolina; da Silva Leite, Domingos; Toledo, Luís Felipe; Mott, Tamí

    2015-05-11

    The fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is among the main causes of declines in amphibian populations. This fungus is considered a generalist pathogen because it infects several species and spreads rapidly in the wild. To date, Bd has been detected in more than 100 anuran species in Brazil, mostly in the southern portion of the Atlantic forest. Here, we report survey data from some poorly explored regions; these data considerably extend current information on the distribution of Bd in the northern Atlantic forest region. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that Bd is a generalist pathogen in this biome. We also report the first positive record for Bd in an anuran caught in the wild in Amazonia. In total, we screened 90 individuals (from 27 species), of which 39 individuals (from 22 species) were Bd-positive. All samples collected in Bahia (2 individuals), Pernambuco (3 individuals), Pará (1 individual), and Minas Gerais (1 individual) showed positive results for Bd. We found a positive correlation between anuran richness per family and the number of infected species in the Atlantic forest, supporting previous observations that Bd lacks strong host specificity; of 38% of the anuran species in the Atlantic forest that were tested for Bd infection, 25% showed positive results. The results of our study exemplify the pandemic and widespread nature of Bd infection in amphibians. PMID:25958806

  17. Population genetics of the frog-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    OpenAIRE

    Morgan, Jess A T; Vance T Vredenburg; Rachowicz, Lara J.; Knapp, Roland A; Stice, Mary J.; Tunstall, Tate; Bingham, Rob E.; Parker, John M.; Longcore, Joyce E.; Moritz, Craig; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Taylor, John W.

    2007-01-01

    Global amphibian decline by chytridiomycosis is a major environmental disaster that has been attributed to either recent fungal spread or environmental change that promotes disease. Here, we present a population genetic comparison of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis isolates from an intensively studied region of frog decline, the Sierra Nevada of California. In support of a novel pathogen, we find low diversity, no amphibian-host specificity, little correlation between fungal genotype and geogr...

  18. Emerging Pathogen in Wild Amphibians and Frogs (Rana catesbeiana) Farmed for International Trade

    OpenAIRE

    Mazzoni, Rolando; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Daszak, Peter; Apolo, Ada; Perdomo, Eugenio; Speranza, Gustavo

    2003-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis is an emerging disease responsible for global decline and extinction of amphibians. We report the causative agent, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in North American bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) farmed for the international restaurant trade. Our findings suggest that international trade may play a key role in the global dissemination of this and other emerging infectious diseases in wildlife.

  19. Amphibians acquire resistance to live and dead fungus overcoming fungal immunosuppression

    OpenAIRE

    McMahon, Taegan A.; Brittany F Sears; Venesky, Matthew D.; Bessler, Scott M.; Brown, Jenise M.; Deutsch, Kaitlin; Halstead, Neal T.; Lentz, Garrett; Tenouri, Nadia; Young, Suzanne; Civitello, David J.; Ortega, Nicole; Fites, J. Scott; Reinert, Laura K.; Rollins-Smith, Louise A.

    2014-01-01

    Emerging fungal pathogens pose a greater threat to biodiversity than any other parasitic group1, causing declines of many taxa, including bats, corals, bees, snakes and amphibians1–4. Currently, there is little evidence that wild animals can acquire resistance to these pathogens5. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a pathogenic fungus implicated in the recent global decline of amphibians6. Here we demonstrate that three species of amphibians can acquire behavioural or immunological resistance ...

  20. Correlates of virulence in a frog-killing fungal pathogen: evidence from a California amphibian decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piovia-Scott, Jonah; Pope, Karen; Worth, S Joy; Rosenblum, Erica Bree; Poorten, Thomas; Refsnider, Jeanine; Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Reinert, Laura K; Wells, Heather L; Rejmanek, Dan; Lawler, Sharon; Foley, Janet

    2015-07-01

    The fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused declines and extinctions in amphibians worldwide, and there is increasing evidence that some strains of this pathogen are more virulent than others. While a number of putative virulence factors have been identified, few studies link these factors to specific epizootic events. We documented a dramatic decline in juvenile frogs in a Bd-infected population of Cascades frogs (Rana cascadae) in the mountains of northern California and used a laboratory experiment to show that Bd isolated in the midst of this decline induced higher mortality than Bd isolated from a more stable population of the same species of frog. This highly virulent Bd isolate was more toxic to immune cells and attained higher density in liquid culture than comparable isolates. Genomic analyses revealed that this isolate is nested within the global panzootic lineage and exhibited unusual genomic patterns, including increased copy numbers of many chromosomal segments. This study integrates data from multiple sources to suggest specific phenotypic and genomic characteristics of the pathogen that may be linked to disease-related declines. PMID:25514536

  1. Diversity of Andean amphibians of the Tamá National Natural Park in Colombia: a survey for the presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Acevedo, A. A.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Changes in diversity and possible decreases in populations of amphibians have not yet been determined in many areas in the Andes. This study aimed to develop an inventory of the biodiversity of amphibians in the Andean areas of the Tamá National Natural Park (Tamá NNP and to evaluate the patterns of infection by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd in preserved and degraded areas. We performed samplings focused on three habitats (forest, open areas and streams in four localities from 2,000 to 3,200 m in altitude. Fourteen species were recorded, 12 of which were positive for Bd. A total of 541 individuals were diagnosed and 100 were positive. Our analyses showed that preserved areas play an important role in keeping many individuals Bd–free as compared to those in degraded areas. This was the first study to evaluate diversity and infection by Bd in the northeast region of Colombia. Our findings may help improve our knowledge of the diversity of amphibian species in the area and facilitate the implementation of action plans to mitigate the causes associated with the decrease in amphibian populations.

  2. The invasive chytrid fungus of amphibians paralyzes lymphocyte responses

    OpenAIRE

    Fites, J. Scott; Ramsey, Jeremy P.; Holden, Whitney M.; Collier, Sarah P.; Sutherland, Danica M.; Reinert, Laura K.; Gayek, A. Sophia; Dermody, Terence S.; Aune, Thomas M.; Oswald-Richter, Kyra; Rollins-Smith, Louise A.

    2013-01-01

    The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, causes chytridiomycosis and is a major contributor to global amphibian declines. Although amphibians have robust immune defenses, clearance of this pathogen is impaired. Because inhibition of host immunity is a common survival strategy of pathogenic fungi, we hypothesized that B. dendrobatidis evades clearance by inhibiting immune functions. We found that B. dendrobatidis cells and supernantants impaired lymphocyte proliferation and induced ...

  3. Assessing host extinction risk following exposure to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    OpenAIRE

    Louca, Stilianos; Lampo, Margarita; Doebeli, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Wildlife diseases are increasingly recognized as a major threat to biodiversity. Chytridiomycosis is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Using a mathematical model and simulations, we study its effects on a generic riparian host population with a tadpole and adult life stage. An analytical expression for the basic reproduction quotient, Qo, of the pathogen is derived. By sampling the entire relevant parameter space, we perform...

  4. Emerging infectious disease and the loss of biodiversity in a Neotropical amphibian community

    OpenAIRE

    Lips, Karen R.; Brem, Forrest; Brenes, Roberto; Reeve, John D.; Ross A. Alford; Voyles, Jamie; Carey, Cynthia; Livo, Lauren; Allan P Pessier; Collins, James P.

    2006-01-01

    Pathogens rarely cause extinctions of host species, and there are few examples of a pathogen changing species richness and diversity of an ecological community by causing local extinctions across a wide range of species. We report the link between the rapid appearance of a pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in an amphibian community at El Copé, Panama, and subsequent mass mortality and loss of amphibian biodiversity across eight families of frogs and salamanders. We desc...

  5. The Structure and Function of Amphibian Skin Bacterial Communities and Their Role in Susceptibility to a Fungal Pathogen

    OpenAIRE

    Walke, Jenifer Banning

    2014-01-01

    As part of the ongoing loss of global biodiversity, amphibian populations are experiencing declines and extinctions. A primary factor in these declines is the skin disease chytridiomycosis, which is caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Recent research suggests that the amphibian skin microbiota has anti-Bd activity and may be an important factor in host disease resistance. However, little is known about the basic ecology of this host-microbe symbiosis, such as how much va...

  6. American Bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) Resist Infection by Multiple Isolates of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Including One Implicated in Wild Mass Mortality

    OpenAIRE

    Eskew, EA; Worth, SJ; Foley, JE; Todd, BD

    2015-01-01

    © 2015, International Association for Ecology and Health. The emerging amphibian disease chytridiomycosis varies in severity depending on host species. Within species, disease susceptibility can also be influenced by pathogen variation and environmental factors. Here, we report on experimental exposures of American bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) to three different isolates of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), including one implicated in causing mass mortality of wild American bullfrog...

  7. A de novo Assembly of the Common Frog (Rana temporaria) Transcriptome and Comparison of Transcription Following Exposure to Ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    OpenAIRE

    Price, S.J.; Garner, T. W.; Balloux, F.; Ruis, C.; Paszkiewicz, K. H.; Moore, K.; Griffiths, A. G.

    2015-01-01

    Amphibians are experiencing global declines and extinctions, with infectious diseases representing a major factor. In this study we examined the transcriptional response of metamorphic hosts (common frog, Rana temporaria) to the two most important amphibian pathogens: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Ranavirus. We found strong up-regulation of a gene involved in the adaptive immune response (AP4S1) at four days post-exposure to both pathogens. We detected a significant transcriptional ...

  8. Field and Laboratory Studies of the Susceptibility of the Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea) to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Infection

    OpenAIRE

    Laura A Brannelly; Chatfield, Matthew W. H.; Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L.

    2012-01-01

    Amphibians worldwide are experiencing devastating declines, some of which are due to the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd). Populations in the southeastern United States, however, have not been noticeably affected by the pathogen. The green treefrog (Hyla cinerea) is abundant and widespread in the southeastern United States, but has not been documented to harbor Bd infection. This study examined the susceptibility of H. cinerea to two strains of Bd in the lab and t...

  9. Micro-Eukaryote Diversity in Freshwater Ponds That Harbor the Amphibian Pathogen "Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis" ("Bd")

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauer, Antje; McConnel, Lonnie; Singh, Navdeep

    2012-01-01

    We designed a microbiology project that fully engaged undergraduate biology students, high school students, and their teachers in a summer research program as part of the Research Education Vitalizing Science University Program conducted at California State University Bakersfield. Modern molecular biological methods and microscopy were used to…

  10. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Shows High Genetic Diversity and Ecological Niche Specificity among Haplotypes in the Maya Mountains of Belize

    OpenAIRE

    Kaiser, Kristine; Pollinger, John

    2012-01-01

    The amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been implicated in amphibian declines around the globe. Although it has been found in most countries in Central America, its presence has never been assessed in Belize. We set out to determine the range, prevalence, and diversity of Bd using quantitative PCR (qPCR) and sequencing of a portion of the 5.8 s and ITS1-2 regions. Swabs were collected from 524 amphibians of at least 26 species in the protected areas of the Maya Mountain...

  11. Disentangling host, pathogen, and environmental determinants of a recently emerged wildlife disease: lessons from the first 15 years of amphibian chytridiomycosis research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, Timothy Y; Toledo, L Felipe; Rödder, Dennis; da Silva Leite, Domingos; Belasen, Anat M; Betancourt-Román, Clarisse M; Jenkinson, Thomas S; Soto-Azat, Claudio; Lambertini, Carolina; Longo, Ana V; Ruggeri, Joice; Collins, James P; Burrowes, Patricia A; Lips, Karen R; Zamudio, Kelly R; Longcore, Joyce E

    2015-09-01

    The amphibian fungal disease chytridiomycosis, which affects species across all continents, recently emerged as one of the greatest threats to biodiversity. Yet, many aspects of the basic biology and epidemiology of the pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), are still unknown, such as when and from where did Bd emerge and what is its true ecological niche? Here, we review the ecology and evolution of Bd in the Americas and highlight controversies that make this disease so enigmatic. We explore factors associated with variance in severity of epizootics focusing on the disease triangle of host susceptibility, pathogen virulence, and environment. Reevaluating the causes of the panzootic is timely given the wealth of data on Bd prevalence across hosts and communities and the recent discoveries suggesting co-evolutionary potential of hosts and Bd. We generate a new species distribution model for Bd in the Americas based on over 30,000 records and suggest a novel future research agenda. Instead of focusing on pathogen "hot spots," we need to identify pathogen "cold spots" so that we can better understand what limits the pathogen's distribution. Finally, we introduce the concept of "the Ghost of Epizootics Past" to discuss expected patterns in postepizootic host communities. PMID:26445660

  12. Synergistic inhibition of the lethal fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: the combined effect of symbiotic bacterial metabolites and antimicrobial peptides of the frog Rana muscosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Jillian M; Ramsey, Jeremy P; Blackman, Alison L; Nichols, A Elizabeth; Minbiole, Kevin P C; Harris, Reid N

    2012-08-01

    A powerful mechanism for protection against disease in animals is synergy between metabolites present in the natural microbiota of the host and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) produced by the host. We studied this method of protection in amphibians in regard to the lethal disease chytridiomycosis, which is caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). In this study, we show that the AMPs of Rana muscosa, as well as the metabolite 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol (2,4-DAPG) from Pseudomonas fluorescens, a bacterial species normally found on the skin of R. muscosa, were inhibitory to the growth of Bd in vitro. When both AMPs and 2,4-DAPG were used in growth inhibition assays, they worked synergistically to inhibit the growth of Bd. This synergy resulted in reduced minimum concentrations necessary for inhibition by either 2,4-DAPG or AMPs. This inhibitory concentration of AMPs did not inhibit the growth of a P. fluorescens strain that produced 2,4-DAPG in vitro, although its growth was inhibited at higher peptide concentrations. These data suggest that the AMPs secreted onto frog skin and the metabolites secreted by the resident beneficial bacteria may work synergistically to enhance protection against Bd infection on amphibian skin. These results may aid conservation efforts to augment amphibian skins' resistance to chytridiomycosis by introducing anti-Bd bacterial species that work synergistically with amphibian AMPs. PMID:22914957

  13. Body length of Hylodes cf. ornatus and Lithobates catesbeianus tadpoles, depigmentation of mouthparts, and presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis are related Tamanho do corpo, despigmentação das partes bucais e presença de Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis estão relacionados em Hylodes cf. ornatus e Lithobates catesbeianus

    OpenAIRE

    CA. Vieira; LF. Toledo; JE. Longcore; JR. Longcore

    2013-01-01

    A fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which can cause morbidity and death of anurans, has affected amphibian populations on a worldwide basis. Availability of pure cultures of Bd isolates is essential for experimental studies to understand the ecology of this pathogen. We evaluated the relationships of body length of Hylodes cf. ornatus and Lithobates catesbeianus tadpoles to depigmentation of mouthparts and determined if dekeratinization indicated an infection by Batrachochy...

  14. A de novo Assembly of the Common Frog (Rana temporaria Transcriptome and Comparison of Transcription Following Exposure to Ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J Price

    Full Text Available Amphibians are experiencing global declines and extinctions, with infectious diseases representing a major factor. In this study we examined the transcriptional response of metamorphic hosts (common frog, Rana temporaria to the two most important amphibian pathogens: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd and Ranavirus. We found strong up-regulation of a gene involved in the adaptive immune response (AP4S1 at four days post-exposure to both pathogens. We detected a significant transcriptional response to Bd, covering the immune response (innate and adaptive immunity, complement activation, and general inflammatory responses, but relatively little transcriptional response to Ranavirus. This may reflect the higher mortality rates found in wild common frogs infected with Ranavirus as opposed to Bd. These data provide a valuable genomic resource for the amphibians, contribute insight into gene expression changes after pathogen exposure, and suggest potential candidate genes for future host-pathogen research.

  15. Interactions between amphibians' symbiotic bacteria cause the production of emergent anti-fungal metabolites

    OpenAIRE

    AndrewHowardLoudon; ThomasPUmile

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians possess beneficial skin bacteria that protect against the disease chytridiomycosis by producing secondary metabolites that inhibit the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Metabolite production may be a mechanism of competition between bacterial species that results in host protection as a by-product. We expect that some co-cultures of bacterial species or strains will result in greater Bd inhibition than mono-cultures. To test this, we cultured four bacterial isolates (Ba...

  16. Distribution limits of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: a case study in the Rocky Mountains, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, B.R.; Muths, E.; Anderson, C.W.; Kirshtein, J.D.; Corn, P.S.

    2009-01-01

    Knowledge of the environmental constraints on a pathogen is critical to predicting its dynamics and effects on populations. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), an aquatic fungus that has been linked with widespread amphibian declines, is ubiquitous in the Rocky Mountains. As part of assessing the distribution limits of Bd in our study area, we sampled the water column and sediments for Bd zoospores in 30 high-elevation water bodies that lacked amphibians. All water bodies were in areas where Bd has been documented from neighboring, lower-elevation areas. We targeted areas lacking amphibians because existence of Bd independent of amphibians would have both ecologic and management implications. We did not detect Bd, which supports the hypothesis that it does not live independently of amphibians. However, assuming a detection sensitivity of 59.5% (based on sampling of water where amphibians tested positive for Bd), we only had 95% confidence of detecting Bd if it was in > or =16% of our sites. Further investigation into potential abiotic reservoirs is needed, but our results provide a strategic step in determining the distributional and environmental limitations of Bd in our study region.

  17. Survival of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Water: Quarantine and Disease Control Implications

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Megan L.; Speare, Richard

    2003-01-01

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians thought to be moved between countries by trade in infected amphibians. The causative fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, produces aquatic, motile zoospores; infections have been achieved in experiments by exposing amphibians to water containing zoospores. However, the ability of this fungus to survive in the environment in the absence of an amphibian host is unknown. We show that B. dendrobatidis will survive in ta...

  18. Amphibian chytridiomycosis: a review with focus on fungus-host interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Rooij, Pascale; Martel, An; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank

    2015-01-01

    Amphibian declines and extinctions are emblematic for the current sixth mass extinction event. Infectious drivers of these declines include the recently emerged fungal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Chytridiomycota). The skin disease caused by these fungi is named chytridiomycosis and affects the vital function of amphibian skin. Not all amphibians respond equally to infection and host responses might range from resistant, over tolerant to susceptible. The clinical outcome of infection is highly dependent on the amphibian host, the fungal virulence and environmental determinants. B. dendrobatidis infects the skin of a large range of anurans, urodeles and caecilians, whereas to date the host range of B. salamandrivorans seems limited to urodeles. So far, the epidemic of B. dendrobatidis is mainly limited to Australian, neotropical, South European and West American amphibians, while for B. salamandrivorans it is limited to European salamanders. Other striking differences between both fungi include gross pathology and thermal preferences. With this review we aim to provide the reader with a state-of-the art of host-pathogen interactions for both fungi, in which new data pertaining to the interaction of B. dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans with the host's skin are integrated. Furthermore, we pinpoint areas in which more detailed studies are necessary or which have not received the attention they merit. PMID:26607488

  19. Chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has nonamphibian hosts and releases chemicals that cause pathology in the absence of infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Taegan A; Brannelly, Laura A; Chatfield, Matthew W H; Johnson, Pieter T J; Joseph, Maxwell B; McKenzie, Valerie J; Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L; Venesky, Matthew D; Rohr, Jason R

    2013-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a pathogenic chytrid fungus implicated in worldwide amphibian declines, is considered an amphibian specialist. Identification of nonamphibian hosts could help explain the virulence, heterogeneous distribution, variable rates of spread, and persistence of B. dendrobatidis in freshwater ecosystems even after amphibian extirpations. Here, we test whether mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) and crayfish (Procambarus spp. and Orconectes virilis), which are syntopic with many amphibian species, are possible hosts for B. dendrobatidis. Field surveys in Louisiana and Colorado revealed that zoosporangia occur within crayfish gastrointestinal tracts, that B. dendrobatidis prevalence in crayfish was up to 29%, and that crayfish presence in Colorado wetlands was a positive predictor of B. dendrobatidis infections in cooccurring amphibians. In experiments, crayfish, but not mosquitofish, became infected with B. dendrobatidis, maintained the infection for at least 12 wk, and transmitted B. dendrobatidis to amphibians. Exposure to water that previously held B. dendrobatidis also caused significant crayfish mortality and gill recession. These results indicate that there are nonamphibian hosts for B. dendrobatidis and suggest that B. dendrobatidis releases a chemical that can cause host pathology, even in the absence of infection. Managing these biological reservoirs for B. dendrobatidis and identifying this chemical might provide new hope for imperiled amphibians. PMID:23248288

  20. Absence of invasive Chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in native Fijian ground frog (Platymantis vitiana) populations on Viwa-Tailevu, Fiji Islands

    OpenAIRE

    Edward Narayan; Frank Molinia; Jean-Marc Hero

    2011-01-01

    We report on the first survey of chytridiomycosis (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis- Bd) in the endangered Fijian ground frog (Platymantis vitiana) population on Viwa-Tailevu, Fiji Islands. This fungal pathogen has been implicated as the primary cause of amphibian declines worldwide. Few cases have been reported from tropical Asia however it was recently documented in 4 species of frogs in Indonesia. Two hundred individual frogs were swabbed from 5 different sites on Viwa Island. Swabs were tes...

  1. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in natural and farmed Louisiana crayfish populations: prevalence and implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brannelly, Laura A; McMahon, Taegan A; Hinton, Mitchell; Lenger, Daniel; Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L

    2015-01-15

    The pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been linked to global declines and extinctions of amphibians, making it one of the most devastating wildlife pathogens known. Understanding the factors that affect disease dynamics in this system is critical for mitigating infection and protecting threatened species. Crayfish are hosts of this pathogen and can transmit Bd to amphibians. Because they co-occur with susceptible amphibian communities, crayfish may be important alternative hosts for Bd. Understanding the prevalence and seasonal dynamics of crayfish infections is of agricultural and ecological interest in areas where crayfish are farmed and traded for human consumption. We conducted a survey of Bd in farmed and natural crayfish (Procambarus spp.) populations in Louisiana, USA. We found that Bd prevalence and infection intensity was low in both farmed and native populations and that prevalence varied seasonally in wild Louisiana crayfish. This seasonal pattern mirrors that seen in local amphibians. As crayfish are an important globally traded freshwater taxon, even with low prevalence, they could be an important vector in the spread of Bd. PMID:25590773

  2. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis not found in rainforest frogs along an altitudinal gradient of Papua New Guinea

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dahl, C.; Kiatik, I.; Baisen, I.; Bronikowski, E.; Fleischer, R. C.; Rotzel, N. C.; Lock, J.; Novotný, Vojtěch; Narayan, E.; Hero, J.-M.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 22, č. 3 (2012), s. 183-186. ISSN 0268-0130 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : altitude * amphibians * Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.081, year: 2012

  3. American Bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) Resist Infection by Multiple Isolates of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Including One Implicated in Wild Mass Mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskew, Evan A; Worth, S Joy; Foley, Janet E; Todd, Brian D

    2015-09-01

    The emerging amphibian disease chytridiomycosis varies in severity depending on host species. Within species, disease susceptibility can also be influenced by pathogen variation and environmental factors. Here, we report on experimental exposures of American bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) to three different isolates of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), including one implicated in causing mass mortality of wild American bullfrogs. Exposed frogs showed low infection prevalence, relatively low infection load, and lack of clinical disease. Our results suggest that environmental cofactors are likely important contributors to Bd-associated American bullfrog mortality and that this species both resists and tolerates Bd infection. PMID:26065669

  4. Skin bacterial diversity of Panamanian frogs is associated with host susceptibility and presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebollar, Eria A; Hughey, Myra C; Medina, Daniel; Harris, Reid N; Ibáñez, Roberto; Belden, Lisa K

    2016-07-01

    Symbiotic bacteria on amphibian skin can inhibit growth of the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) that has caused dramatic population declines and extinctions of amphibians in the Neotropics. It remains unclear how the amphibians' skin microbiota is influenced by environmental bacterial reservoirs, host-associated factors such as susceptibility to pathogens, and pathogen presence in tropical amphibians. We sampled skin bacteria from five co-occurring frog species that differ in Bd susceptibility at one Bd-naive site, and sampled one of the non-susceptible species from Bd-endemic and Bd-naive sites in Panama. We hypothesized that skin bacterial communities (1) would be distinct from the surrounding environment regardless of the host habitat, (2) would differ between Bd susceptible and non-susceptible species and (3) would differ on hosts in Bd-naive and Bd-endemic sites. We found that skin bacterial communities were enriched in bacterial taxa that had low relative abundances in the environment. Non-susceptible species had very similar skin bacterial communities that were enriched in particular taxa such as the genera Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter. Bacterial communities of Craugastor fitzingeri in Bd-endemic sites were less diverse than in the naive site, and differences in community structure across sites were explained by changes in relative abundance of specific bacterial taxa. Our results indicate that skin microbial structure was associated with host susceptibility to Bd and might be associated to the history of Bd presence at different sites. PMID:26744810

  5. Higher temperature variability increases the impact of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and shifts interspecific interactions in tadpole mesocosms

    OpenAIRE

    Phineas T Hamilton; Richardson, Jean ML; Govindarajulu, Purnima; Anholt, Bradley R

    2012-01-01

    The emergence of amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has led to the decline and extinction of numerous amphibian species. Multiple studies have observed links between climatic factors and amphibian declines apparently caused by Bd. Using outdoor experimental mesocosms, we tested the response of red-legged frog (Rana aurora) tadpoles to increased variation in temperature, a component of climate linked to amphibian declines, and Bd exposure. We i...

  6. Immunomodulatory metabolites released by the frog-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Fites, J Scott; Reinert, Laura K; Shiakolas, Andrea R; Umile, Thomas P; Minbiole, Kevin P C

    2015-12-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a fungal pathogen in the phylum Chytridiomycota that causes the skin disease chytridiomycosis. Chytridiomycosis is considered an emerging infectious disease linked to worldwide amphibian declines and extinctions. Although amphibians have well-developed immune defenses, clearance of this pathogen from the skin is often impaired. Previously, we showed that the adaptive immune system is involved in the control of the pathogen, but B. dendrobatidis releases factors that inhibit in vitro and in vivo lymphocyte responses and induce lymphocyte apoptosis. Little is known about the nature of the inhibitory factors released by this fungus. Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of three fungal metabolites produced by B. dendrobatidis but not by the closely related nonpathogenic chytrid Homolaphlyctis polyrhiza. These metabolites are methylthioadenosine (MTA), tryptophan, and an oxidized product of tryptophan, kynurenine (Kyn). Independently, both MTA and Kyn inhibit the survival and proliferation of amphibian lymphocytes and the Jurkat human T cell leukemia cell line. However, working together, they become effective at much lower concentrations. We hypothesize that B. dendrobatidis can adapt its metabolism to release products that alter the local environment in the skin to inhibit immunity and enhance the survival of the pathogen. PMID:26371122

  7. Susceptibility of amphibians to chytridiomycosis is associated with MHC class II conformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bataille, Arnaud; Cashins, Scott D; Grogan, Laura; Skerratt, Lee F; Hunter, David; McFadden, Michael; Scheele, Benjamin; Brannelly, Laura A; Macris, Amy; Harlow, Peter S; Bell, Sara; Berger, Lee; Waldman, Bruce

    2015-04-22

    The pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) can cause precipitous population declines in its amphibian hosts. Responses of individuals to infection vary greatly with the capacity of their immune system to respond to the pathogen. We used a combination of comparative and experimental approaches to identify major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) alleles encoding molecules that foster the survival of Bd-infected amphibians. We found that Bd-resistant amphibians across four continents share common amino acids in three binding pockets of the MHC-II antigen-binding groove. Moreover, strong signals of selection acting on these specific sites were evident among all species co-existing with the pathogen. In the laboratory, we experimentally inoculated Australian tree frogs with Bd to test how each binding pocket conformation influences disease resistance. Only the conformation of MHC-II pocket 9 of surviving subjects matched those of Bd-resistant species. This MHC-II conformation thus may determine amphibian resistance to Bd, although other MHC-II binding pockets also may contribute to resistance. Rescuing amphibian biodiversity will depend on our understanding of amphibian immune defence mechanisms against Bd. The identification of adaptive genetic markers for Bd resistance represents an important step forward towards that goal. PMID:25808889

  8. RANAVIRUS CAUSES MASS DIE-OFFS OF ALPINE AMPHIBIANS IN THE SOUTHWESTERN ALPS, FRANCE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miaud, Claude; Pozet, Françoise; Gaudin, Nadine Curt Grand; Martel, An; Pasmans, Frank; Labrut, Sophie

    2016-04-28

    Pathogenic fungi and viruses cause mortality outbreaks in wild amphibians worldwide. In the summer of 2012, dead tadpoles and adults of the European common frog Rana temporaria were reported in alpine lakes in the southwestern Alps (Mercantour National Park, France). A preliminary investigation using molecular diagnostic techniques identified a Ranavirus as the potential pathogenic agent. Three mortality events were recorded in the park, and samples were collected. The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was not detected in any of the dead adult and juvenile frogs sampled (n=16) whereas all specimens were positive for a Ranavirus. The genome sequence of this Ranavirus was identical to previously published sequences of the common midwife toad virus (CMTV), a Ranavirus that has been associated with amphibian mortalities throughout Europe. We cultured virus from the organs of the dead common frogs and infecting adult male common frogs collected in another alpine region where no frog mortality had been observed. The experimentally infected frogs suffered 100% mortality (n=10). The alpine die-off is the first CMTV outbreak associated with mass mortality in wild amphibians in France. We describe the lesions observed and summarize amphibian populations affected by Ranaviruses in Europe. In addition, we discuss the ecologic specificities of mountain amphibians that may contribute to increasing their risk of exposure to and transmission of Ranaviruses. PMID:26967128

  9. The lethal fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is present in lowland tropical forests of far eastern Panama.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eria A Rebollar

    Full Text Available The fungal disease chytridiomycosis, caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, is one of the main causes of amphibian population declines and extinctions all over the world. In the Neotropics, this fungal disease has caused catastrophic declines in the highlands as it has spread throughout Central America down to Panamá. In this study, we determined the prevalence and intensity of Bd infection in three species of frogs in one highland and four lowland tropical forests, including two lowland regions in eastern Panamá in which the pathogen had not been detected previously. Bd was present in all the sites sampled with a prevalence ranging from 15-34%, similar to other Neotropical lowland sites. The intensity of Bd infection on individual frogs was low, ranging from average values of 0.11-24 zoospore equivalents per site. Our work indicates that Bd is present in anuran communities in lowland Panamá, including the Darién province, and that the intensity of the infection may vary among species from different habitats and with different life histories. The population-level consequences of Bd infection in amphibian communities from the lowlands remain to be determined. Detailed studies of amphibian species from the lowlands will be essential to determine the reason why these species are persisting despite the presence of the pathogen.

  10. Amphibian decline and extinction: what we know and what we need to learn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, James P

    2010-11-01

    For over 350 million yr, thousands of amphibian species have lived on Earth. Since the 1980s, amphibians have been disappearing at an alarming rate, in many cases quite suddenly. What is causing these declines and extinctions? In the modern era (post 1500) there are 6 leading causes of biodiversity loss in general, and all of these acting alone or together are responsible for modern amphibian declines: commercial use; introduced/exotic species that compete with, prey on, and parasitize native frogs and salamanders; land use change; contaminants; climate change; and infectious disease. The first 3 causes are historical in the sense that they have been operating for hundreds of years, although the rate of change due to each accelerated greatly after about the mid-20th century. Contaminants, climate change, and emerging infectious diseases are modern causes suspected of being responsible for the so-called 'enigmatic decline' of amphibians in protected areas. Introduced/exotic pathogens, land use change, and infectious disease are the 3 causes with a clear role in amphibian decline as well as extinction; thus far, the other 3 causes are only implicated in decline and not extinction. The present work is a review of the 6 causes with a focus on pathogens and suggested areas where new research is needed. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a chytrid fungus that is an emerging infectious disease causing amphibian population decline and species extinction. Historically, pathogens have not been seen as a major cause of extinction, but Bd is an exception, which is why it is such an interesting, important pathogen to understand. The late 20th and early 21st century global biodiversity loss is characterized as a sixth extinction event. Amphibians are a striking example of these losses as they disappear at a rate that greatly exceeds historical levels. Consequently, modern amphibian decline and extinction is a lens through which we can view the larger story of biodiversity

  11. Bd on the beach: high prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the lowland forests of Gorgona Island (Colombia, South America).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flechas, Sandra Victoria; Sarmiento, Carolina; Amézquita, Adolfo

    2012-09-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd, has been implicated in the decimation and extinction of many amphibian populations worldwide, especially at mid and high elevations. Recent studies have demonstrated the presence of the pathogen in the lowlands from Australia and Central America. We extend here its elevational range by demonstrating its presence at the sea level, in the lowland forests of Gorgona Island, off the Pacific coast of Colombia. We conducted two field surveys, separated by four years, and diagnosed Bd by performing polymerase chain reactions on swab samples from the skin of five amphibian species. All species, including the Critically Endangered Atelopus elegans, tested positive for the pathogen, with prevalences between 3.9 % in A. elegans (in 2010) and 52 % in Pristimantis achatinus. Clinical signs of chytridiomycosis were not detected in any species. To our knowledge, this is the first report of B. dendrobatidis in tropical lowlands at sea level, where temperatures may exceed optimal growth temperatures of this pathogen. This finding highlights the need to understand the mechanisms allowing the interaction between frogs and pathogen in lowland ecosystems. PMID:22669408

  12. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis shows high genetic diversity and ecological niche specificity among haplotypes in the Maya Mountains of Belize.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristine Kaiser

    Full Text Available The amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd has been implicated in amphibian declines around the globe. Although it has been found in most countries in Central America, its presence has never been assessed in Belize. We set out to determine the range, prevalence, and diversity of Bd using quantitative PCR (qPCR and sequencing of a portion of the 5.8 s and ITS1-2 regions. Swabs were collected from 524 amphibians of at least 26 species in the protected areas of the Maya Mountains of Belize. We sequenced a subset of 72 samples that had tested positive for Bd by qPCR at least once; 30 samples were verified as Bd. Eight unique Bd haplotypes were identified in the Maya Mountains, five of which were previously undescribed. We identified unique ecological niches for the two most broadly distributed haplotypes. Combined with data showing differing virulence shown in different strains in other studies, the 5.8 s - ITS1-2 region diversity found in this study suggests that there may be substantial differences among populations or haplotypes. Future work should focus on whether specific haplotypes for other genomic regions and possibly pathogenicity can be associated with haplotypes at this locus, as well as the integration of molecular tools with other ecological tools to elucidate the ecology and pathogenicity of Bd.

  13. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis exposure effects on foraging efficiencies and body size in anuran tadpoles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanlon, Shane M; Lynch, Kyle J; Kerby, Jake; Parris, Matthew J

    2015-01-15

    Chytridiomycosis, the amphibian disease caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is fatal to adults of many species. Bd is largely sublethal to amphibian larvae; however, it is known to reduce larval (i.e. tadpole) growth rates, with possible long-term effects on population dynamics and fitness. We conducted an experiment to test how Bd altered southern leopard frog Lithobates sphenocephalus tadpole mouthpart damage, percentage of food ingested, and subsequent body size. We examined our results using path analyses. We hypothesized that Bd would increase mouthpart damage, causing less food to be ingested, and ultimately reduce body size. In our model, both Bd exposure and increased mouthpart damage significantly reduced food ingested and subsequent body size. However, our study provides evidence against the long-standing hypothesis of mouthpart damage as a pathway for Bd-induced reductions in larval group. Here we provide evidence for reduced foraging efficiency (percentage of food ingested) as a mechanism for Bd-induced reductions in body size. This work highlights the importance of studying the sublethal effects of Bd on larval amphibians. PMID:25590774

  14. Quantitative PCR detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis DNA from sediments and water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirshtein, J.D.; Anderson, C.W.; Wood, J.S.; Longcore, J.E.; Voytek, M.A.

    2007-01-01

    The fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) causes chytridiomycosis, a disease implicated in amphibian declines on 5 continents. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primer sets exist with which amphibians can be tested for this disease, and advances in sampling techniques allow non-invasive testing of animals. We developed filtering and PCR based quantitative methods by modifying existing PCR assays to detect Bd DNA in water and sediments, without the need for testing amphibians; we tested the methods at 4 field sites. The SYBR based assay using Boyle primers (SYBR/Boyle assay) and the Taqman based assay using Wood primers performed similarly with samples generated in the laboratory (Bd spiked filters), but the SYBR/Boyle assay detected Bd DNA in more field samples. We detected Bd DNA in water from 3 of 4 sites tested, including one pond historically negative for chytridiomycosis. Zoospore equivalents in sampled water ranged from 19 to 454 l-1 (nominal detection limit is 10 DNA copies, or about 0.06 zoospore). We did not detect DNA of Bd from sediments collected at any sites. Our filtering and amplification methods provide a new tool to investigate critical aspects of Bd in the environment. ?? Inter-Research 2007.

  15. Additive threats from pathogens, climate and land-use change for global amphibian diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hof, Christian; Bastos Araujo, Miguel; Jetz, Walter;

    2011-01-01

    Amphibian population declines far exceed those of other vertebrate groups, with 30% of all species listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The causes of these declines are a matter of continued research, but probably include climate change, land-use change and...... are disproportionately more affected by one or multiple threat factors than areas with low richness. Amphibian declines are likely to accelerate in the twenty-first century, because multiple drivers of extinction could jeopardize their populations more than previous, mono-causal, assessments have...

  16. Widespread occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in contemporary and historical samples of the endangered Bombina pachypus along the Italian peninsula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniele Canestrelli

    Full Text Available Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is considered a main driver of the worldwide declines and extinctions of amphibian populations. Nonetheless, fundamental questions about its epidemiology, including whether it acts mainly as a "lone killer" or in conjunction with other factors, remain largely open. In this paper we analysed contemporary and historical samples of the endangered Apennine yellow-bellied toad (Bombina pachypus along the Italian peninsula, in order to assess the presence of the pathogen and its spreading dynamics. Once common throughout its range, B. pachypus started to decline after the mid-1990s in the northern and central regions, whereas no declines have been observed so far in the southern region. We show that Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is currently widespread along the entire peninsula, and that this was already so at least as early as the late 1970s, that is, well before the beginning of the observed declines. This temporal mismatch between pathogen occurrence and host decline, as well as the spatial pattern of the declines, suggests that the pathogen has not acted as a "lone killer", but in conjunction with other factors. Among the potentially interacting factors, we identified two as the most probable, genetic diversity of host populations and recent climate changes. We discuss the plausibility of this scenario and its implications on the conservation of B. pachypus populations.

  17. Waterfowl: potential environmental reservoirs of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    OpenAIRE

    Garmyn, An; Van Rooij, Pascale; Pasmans, Frank; Hellebuyck, Tom; Van den Broeck, Wim; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Martel, An

    2012-01-01

    Infections with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (B. dendrobatidis), the causal agent of chytridiomycosis, have been shown to play an important role in the decline of amphibians worldwide. Spread of the fungus is poorly understood. Bird movement might possibly contribute to the spread of B. dendrobatidis in the environment. Therefore, 397 wild geese in Belgium were screened for presence of B. dendrobatidis on their toes using real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). In addition, chemotaxis towards, a...

  18. The lethal fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is present in lowland tropical forests of far eastern Panamá.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebollar, Eria A; Hughey, Myra C; Harris, Reid N; Domangue, Rickie J; Medina, Daniel; Ibáñez, Roberto; Belden, Lisa K

    2014-01-01

    The fungal disease chytridiomycosis, caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is one of the main causes of amphibian population declines and extinctions all over the world. In the Neotropics, this fungal disease has caused catastrophic declines in the highlands as it has spread throughout Central America down to Panamá. In this study, we determined the prevalence and intensity of Bd infection in three species of frogs in one highland and four lowland tropical forests, including two lowland regions in eastern Panamá in which the pathogen had not been detected previously. Bd was present in all the sites sampled with a prevalence ranging from 15-34%, similar to other Neotropical lowland sites. The intensity of Bd infection on individual frogs was low, ranging from average values of 0.11-24 zoospore equivalents per site. Our work indicates that Bd is present in anuran communities in lowland Panamá, including the Darién province, and that the intensity of the infection may vary among species from different habitats and with different life histories. The population-level consequences of Bd infection in amphibian communities from the lowlands remain to be determined. Detailed studies of amphibian species from the lowlands will be essential to determine the reason why these species are persisting despite the presence of the pathogen. PMID:24740162

  19. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alroy, John

    2015-10-20

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats. PMID:26438855

  20. Amphibian immune defenses against chytridiomycosis: impacts of changing environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Ramsey, Jeremy P; Pask, James D; Reinert, Laura K; Woodhams, Douglas C

    2011-10-01

    Eco-immunology is the field of study that attempts to understand the functions of the immune system in the context of the host's environment. Amphibians are currently suffering devastating declines and extinctions in nearly all parts of the world due to the emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Because chytridiomycosis is a skin infection and remains confined to the skin, immune defenses of the skin are critical for survival. Skin defenses include secreted antimicrobial peptides and immunoglobulins as well as antifungal metabolites produced by symbiotic skin bacteria. Low temperatures, toxic chemicals, and stress inhibit the immune system and may impair natural defenses against B. dendrobatidis. Tadpoles' mouth parts can be infected by B. dendrobatidis. Damage to the mouth parts can impair growth, and the affected tadpoles maintain the pathogen in the environment even when adults have dispersed. Newly metamorphosing frogs appear to be especially vulnerable to infection and to the lethal effects of this pathogen because the immune system undergoes a dramatic reorganization at metamorphosis, and postmetamorphic defenses are not yet mature. Here we review our current understanding of amphibian immune defenses against B. dendrobatidis and the ability of the pathogen to resist those defenses. We also briefly review what is known about the impacts of temperature, environmental chemicals, and stress on the host-pathogen interactions and suggest future directions for research. PMID:21816807

  1. Enhanced call effort in Japanese tree frogs infected by amphibian chytrid fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Deuknam; Waldman, Bruce

    2016-03-01

    Some amphibians have evolved resistance to the devastating disease chytridiomycosis, associated with global population declines, but immune defences can be costly. We recorded advertisement calls of male Japanese tree frogs (Hyla japonica) in the field. We then assessed whether individuals were infected by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the causal agent of the disease. This allowed us to analyse call properties of males as a function of their infection status. Infected males called more rapidly and produced longer calls than uninfected males. This enhanced call effort may reflect pathogen manipulation of host behaviour to foster disease transmission. Alternatively, increased calling may have resulted from selection on infected males to reproduce earlier because of their shortened expected lifespan. Our results raise the possibility that sublethal effects of Bd alter amphibian life histories, which contributes to long-term population declines. PMID:26932682

  2. Inhibition of Local Immune Responses by the Frog-Killing Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    OpenAIRE

    Fites, J. Scott; Reinert, Laura K.; Chappell, Timothy M.; Rollins-Smith, Louise A.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians are suffering unprecedented global declines. A leading cause is the infectious disease chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Chytridiomycosis is a skin disease which disrupts transport of essential ions leading to death. Soluble factors produced by B. dendrobatidis impair amphibian and mammalian lymphocytes in vitro, but previous studies have not shown the effects of these inhibitory factors in vivo. To demonstrate in vivo inhibition of immun...

  3. Infection of an invasive frog Eleutherodactylus coqui by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Hawaii

    OpenAIRE

    Beard, Karen H.; O'Neill, Eric M.

    2005-01-01

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has contributed to declines and extinctions of amphibians worldwide. B. dendrobatidis is known to infect the frog Eleutherodactylus coqui in its native Puerto Rico. E. coqui was accidentally introduced into Hawaii in the late 1980s, where there are now hundreds of populations. B. dendrobatidis was being considered as a biological control agent for E. coqui because there are no native amphibians in Hawaii. Using a DNA-based assay, we tested 382...

  4. Assessing the Threat of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in the Albertine Rift: Past, Present and Future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seimon, Tracie A; Ayebare, Samuel; Sekisambu, Robert; Muhindo, Emmanuel; Mitamba, Guillain; Greenbaum, Eli; Menegon, Michele; Pupin, Fabio; McAloose, Denise; Ammazzalorso, Alyssa; Meirte, Danny; Lukwago, Wilbur; Behangana, Mathias; Seimon, Anton; Plumptre, Andrew J

    2015-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the cause of chytridiomycosis, is a pathogenic fungus that is found worldwide and is a major contributor to amphibian declines and extinctions. We report results of a comprehensive effort to assess the distribution and threat of Bd in one of the Earth's most important biodiversity hotspots, the Albertine Rift in central Africa. In herpetological surveys conducted between 2010 and 2014, 1018 skin swabs from 17 amphibian genera in 39 sites across the Albertine Rift were tested for Bd by PCR. Overall, 19.5% of amphibians tested positive from all sites combined. Skin tissue samples from 163 amphibians were examined histologically; of these two had superficial epidermal intracorneal fungal colonization and lesions consistent with the disease chytridiomycosis. One amphibian was found dead during the surveys, and all others encountered appeared healthy. We found no evidence for Bd-induced mortality events, a finding consistent with other studies. To gain a historical perspective about Bd in the Albertine Rift, skin swabs from 232 museum-archived amphibians collected as voucher specimens from 1925-1994 were tested for Bd. Of these, one sample was positive; an Itombwe River frog (Phrynobatrachus asper) collected in 1950 in the Itombwe highlands. This finding represents the earliest record of Bd in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We modeled the distribution of Bd in the Albertine Rift using MaxEnt software, and trained our model for improved predictability. Our model predicts that Bd is currently widespread across the Albertine Rift, with moderate habitat suitability extending into the lowlands. Under climatic modeling scenarios our model predicts that optimal habitat suitability of Bd will decrease causing a major range contraction of the fungus by 2080. Our baseline data and modeling predictions are important for comparative studies, especially if significant changes in amphibian health status or climactic conditions are encountered

  5. Assessing the Threat of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in the Albertine Rift: Past, Present and Future.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tracie A Seimon

    Full Text Available Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, the cause of chytridiomycosis, is a pathogenic fungus that is found worldwide and is a major contributor to amphibian declines and extinctions. We report results of a comprehensive effort to assess the distribution and threat of Bd in one of the Earth's most important biodiversity hotspots, the Albertine Rift in central Africa. In herpetological surveys conducted between 2010 and 2014, 1018 skin swabs from 17 amphibian genera in 39 sites across the Albertine Rift were tested for Bd by PCR. Overall, 19.5% of amphibians tested positive from all sites combined. Skin tissue samples from 163 amphibians were examined histologically; of these two had superficial epidermal intracorneal fungal colonization and lesions consistent with the disease chytridiomycosis. One amphibian was found dead during the surveys, and all others encountered appeared healthy. We found no evidence for Bd-induced mortality events, a finding consistent with other studies. To gain a historical perspective about Bd in the Albertine Rift, skin swabs from 232 museum-archived amphibians collected as voucher specimens from 1925-1994 were tested for Bd. Of these, one sample was positive; an Itombwe River frog (Phrynobatrachus asper collected in 1950 in the Itombwe highlands. This finding represents the earliest record of Bd in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We modeled the distribution of Bd in the Albertine Rift using MaxEnt software, and trained our model for improved predictability. Our model predicts that Bd is currently widespread across the Albertine Rift, with moderate habitat suitability extending into the lowlands. Under climatic modeling scenarios our model predicts that optimal habitat suitability of Bd will decrease causing a major range contraction of the fungus by 2080. Our baseline data and modeling predictions are important for comparative studies, especially if significant changes in amphibian health status or climactic conditions

  6. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and the collapse of anuran species richness and abundance in the Upper Manu National Park, Southeastern Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catenazzi, Alessandro; Lehr, Edgar; Rodriguez, Lily O; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2011-04-01

    Amphibians are declining worldwide, but these declines have been particularly dramatic in tropical mountains, where high endemism and vulnerability to an introduced fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is associated with amphibian extinctions. We surveyed frogs in the Peruvian Andes in montane forests along a steep elevational gradient (1200-3700 m). We used visual encounter surveys to sample stream-dwelling and arboreal species and leaf-litter plots to sample terrestrial-breeding species. We compared species richness and abundance among the wet seasons of 1999, 2008, and 2009. Despite similar sampling effort among years, the number of species (46 in 1999) declined by 47% between 1999 and 2008 and by 38% between 1999 and 2009. When we combined the number of species we found in 2008 and 2009, the decline from 1999 was 36%. Declines of stream-dwelling and arboreal species (a reduction in species richness of 55%) were much greater than declines of terrestrial-breeding species (reduction of 20% in 2008 and 24% in 2009). Similarly, abundances of stream-dwelling and arboreal frogs were lower in the combined 2008-2009 period than in 1999, whereas densities of frogs in leaf-litter plots did not differ among survey years. These declines may be associated with the infection of frogs with Bd. B. dendrobatidis prevalence correlated significantly with the proportion of species that were absent from the 2008 and 2009 surveys along the elevational gradient. Our results suggest Bd may have arrived at the site between 1999 and 2007, which is consistent with the hypothesis that this pathogen is spreading in epidemic waves along the Andean cordilleras. Our results also indicate a rapid decline of frog species richness and abundance in our study area, a national park that contains many endemic amphibian species and is high in amphibian species richness. PMID:21054530

  7. Linking genetic and environmental factors in amphibian disease risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Anna E; Becker, Carlos G; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2015-07-01

    A central question in evolutionary biology is how interactions between organisms and the environment shape genetic differentiation. The pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused variable population declines in the lowland leopard frog (Lithobates yavapaiensis); thus, disease has potentially shaped, or been shaped by, host genetic diversity. Environmental factors can also influence both amphibian immunity and Bd virulence, confounding our ability to assess the genetic effects on disease dynamics. Here, we used genetics, pathogen dynamics, and environmental data to characterize L. yavapaiensis populations, estimate migration, and determine relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors in predicting Bd dynamics. We found that the two uninfected populations belonged to a single genetic deme, whereas each infected population was genetically unique. We detected an outlier locus that deviated from neutral expectations and was significantly correlated with mortality within populations. Across populations, only environmental variables predicted infection intensity, whereas environment and genetics predicted infection prevalence, and genetic diversity alone predicted mortality. At one locality with geothermally elevated water temperatures, migration estimates revealed source-sink dynamics that have likely prevented local adaptation. We conclude that integrating genetic and environmental variation among populations provides a better understanding of Bd spatial epidemiology, generating more effective conservation management strategies for mitigating amphibian declines. PMID:26136822

  8. Evidence for acquisition of virulence effectors in pathogenic chytrids

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    Summers Kyle

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The decline in amphibian populations across the world is frequently linked to the infection of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. This is particularly perplexing because Bd was only recently discovered in 1999 and no chytrid fungus had previously been identified as a vertebrate pathogen. Results In this study, we show that two large families of known virulence effector genes, crinkler (CRN proteins and serine peptidases, were acquired by Bd from oomycete pathogens and bacteria, respectively. These two families have been duplicated after their acquisition by Bd. Additional selection analyses indicate that both families evolved under strong positive selection, suggesting that they are involved in the adaptation of Bd to its hosts. Conclusions We propose that the acquisition of virulence effectors, in combination with habitat disruption and climate change, may have driven the Bd epidemics and the decline in amphibian populations. This finding provides a starting point for biochemical investigations of chytridiomycosis.

  9. Field and laboratory studies of the susceptibility of the green treefrog (Hyla cinerea to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection.

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    Laura A Brannelly

    Full Text Available Amphibians worldwide are experiencing devastating declines, some of which are due to the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd. Populations in the southeastern United States, however, have not been noticeably affected by the pathogen. The green treefrog (Hyla cinerea is abundant and widespread in the southeastern United States, but has not been documented to harbor Bd infection. This study examined the susceptibility of H. cinerea to two strains of Bd in the lab and the prevalence of infection in wild populations of this species in southeastern Louisiana. Although we were able to infect H. cinerea with Bd in the lab, we did not observe any clinical signs of chytridiomycosis. Furthermore, infection by Bd does not appear to negatively affect body condition or growth rate of post-metamorphic individuals. We found no evidence of infection in surveys of wild H. cinerea. Our results suggest that H. cinerea is not susceptible to chytridiomycosis post-metamorphosis and probably is not an important carrier of the fungal pathogen Bd in the southeastern United States, although susceptibility at the larval stage remains unknown.

  10. Mountain Yellow-legged Frogs (Rana muscosa) did not Produce Detectable Antibodies in Immunization Experiments with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poorten, Thomas J; Stice-Kishiyama, Mary J; Briggs, Cheryl J; Rosenblum, Erica Bree

    2016-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis is a devastating infectious disease of amphibians caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). A growing number of studies have examined the role of amphibian adaptive immunity in response to this pathogen, with varying degrees of immune activation reported. Here we present immunologic data for the mountain yellow-legged frog, Rana muscosa, and the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, Rana sierrae, which are two endangered and ecologically important species experiencing Bd-inflicted declines. Previous studies on these species that examined transcriptional response during Bd infection, and the effective of immunization, provided little evidence of immune activation to Bd. However, the studies did not directly assay immune effectors in the frog hosts. We performed experiments to examine antibody production, which is a hallmark of systemic adaptive immune activation. We used controlled laboratory experiments and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to examine the antibody response to Bd immunization and live Bd exposure. Rana muscosa and R. sierrae individuals did not produce detectable antibodies with the capacity to bind to denatured Bd antigens under our experimental conditions. While we cannot rule out antibody response to Bd in these species, our results suggest weak, poor, or inefficient production of antibodies to denatured Bd antigens. Our findings are consistent with susceptibility to chytridiomycosis in these species and suggest additional work is needed to characterize the potential for adaptive immunity. PMID:26540180

  11. Antibacterial therapeutics for the treatment of chytrid infection in amphibians: Columbus's egg?

    OpenAIRE

    Muijsers Mariska; Martel An; Van Rooij Pascale; Baert Kris; Vercauteren Griet; Ducatelle Richard; De Backer Patrick; Vercammen Francis; Haesebrouck Freddy; Pasmans Frank

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background The establishment of safe and effective protocols to treat chytridiomycosis in amphibians is urgently required. In this study, the usefulness of antibacterial agents to clear chytridiomycosis from infected amphibians was evaluated. Results Florfenicol, sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine and the combination of trimethoprim and sulfonamides were active in vitro against cultures of five Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis strains containing sporangia and zoospores, with minimum inhibi...

  12. The Bacterially Produced Metabolite Violacein Is Associated with Survival of Amphibians Infected with a Lethal Fungus ▿

    OpenAIRE

    Matthew H Becker; Brucker, Robert M.; Schwantes, Christian R.; Harris, Reid N.; Minbiole, Kevin P. C.

    2009-01-01

    The disease chytridiomycosis, which is caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is associated with recent declines in amphibian populations. Susceptibility to this disease varies among amphibian populations and species, and resistance appears to be attributable in part to the presence of antifungal microbial species associated with the skin of amphibians. The betaproteobacterium Janthinobacterium lividum has been isolated from the skins of several amphibian species and pro...

  13. Dr Jekyll and Mrs Hyde: Risky hybrid sex by amphibian-parasitizing chytrids in the Brazilian Atlantic Forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Pria; Fisher, Matthew C

    2016-07-01

    In their article in this issue of Molecular Ecology, Jenkinson et al. () and colleagues address a worrying question-how could arguably the most dangerous pathogen known to science, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), become even more virulent? The answer: start having sex. Jenkinson et al. present a case for how the introduction into Brazil of the globally invasive lineage of Bd, BdGPL, has disrupted the relationship between native amphibians and an endemic Bd lineage, BdBrazil. BdBrazil is hypothesized to be native to the Atlantic Forest and so have a long co-evolutionary history with biodiverse Atlantic Forest amphibian community. The authors suggest that this has resulted in a zone of hybrid Bd genotypes which are potentially more likely to cause fatal chytridiomycosis than either parent lineage. The endemic-nonendemic Bd hybrid genotypes described in this study, and the evidence for pathogen translocation via the global amphibian trade presented, highlights the danger of anthropogenic pathogen dispersal. This research emphasizes that biosecurity regulations may have to refocus on lineages within species if we are to mitigate against the danger of new, possibly hypervirulent genotypes of pathogens emerging as phylogeographic barriers are breached. PMID:27373706

  14. Riding the wave: reconciling the roles of disease and climate change in amphibian declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lips, Karen R; Diffendorfer, Jay; Mendelson, Joseph R; Sears, Michael W

    2008-03-25

    We review the evidence for the role of climate change in triggering disease outbreaks of chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease of amphibians. Both climatic anomalies and disease-related extirpations are recent phenomena, and effects of both are especially noticeable at high elevations in tropical areas, making it difficult to determine whether they are operating separately or synergistically. We compiled reports of amphibian declines from Lower Central America and Andean South America to create maps and statistical models to test our hypothesis of spatiotemporal spread of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and to update the elevational patterns of decline in frogs belonging to the genus Atelopus. We evaluated claims of climate change influencing the spread of Bd by including error into estimates of the relationship between air temperature and last year observed. Available data support the hypothesis of multiple introductions of this invasive pathogen into South America and subsequent spread along the primary Andean cordilleras. Additional analyses found no evidence to support the hypothesis that climate change has been driving outbreaks of amphibian chytridiomycosis, as has been posited in the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis. Future studies should increase retrospective surveys of museum specimens from throughout the Andes and should study the landscape genetics of Bd to map fine-scale patterns of geographic spread to identify transmission routes and processes. PMID:18366257

  15. Riding the wave: reconciling the roles of disease and climate change in amphibian declines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen R Lips

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available We review the evidence for the role of climate change in triggering disease outbreaks of chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease of amphibians. Both climatic anomalies and disease-related extirpations are recent phenomena, and effects of both are especially noticeable at high elevations in tropical areas, making it difficult to determine whether they are operating separately or synergistically. We compiled reports of amphibian declines from Lower Central America and Andean South America to create maps and statistical models to test our hypothesis of spatiotemporal spread of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, and to update the elevational patterns of decline in frogs belonging to the genus Atelopus. We evaluated claims of climate change influencing the spread of Bd by including error into estimates of the relationship between air temperature and last year observed. Available data support the hypothesis of multiple introductions of this invasive pathogen into South America and subsequent spread along the primary Andean cordilleras. Additional analyses found no evidence to support the hypothesis that climate change has been driving outbreaks of amphibian chytridiomycosis, as has been posited in the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis. Future studies should increase retrospective surveys of museum specimens from throughout the Andes and should study the landscape genetics of Bd to map fine-scale patterns of geographic spread to identify transmission routes and processes.

  16. West Africa - A Safe Haven for Frogs? A Sub-Continental Assessment of the Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis)

    OpenAIRE

    Penner, Johannes; Adum, Gilbert B.; McElroy, Matthew T.; Doherty-Bone, Thomas; Hirschfeld, Mareike; Sandberger, Laura; Weldon, Ché; Cunningham, Andrew A; Ohst, Torsten; Wombwell, Emma; Portik, Daniel M.; Reid, Duncan; Hillers, Annika; Ofori-Boateng, Caleb; Oduro, William

    2013-01-01

    A putative driver of global amphibian decline is the panzootic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). While Bd has been documented across continental Africa, its distribution in West Africa remains ambiguous. We tested 793 West African amphibians (one caecilian and 61 anuran species) for the presence of Bd. The samples originated from seven West African countries - Bénin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone - and were collected from a variety of habi...

  17. West Africa – a safe haven for frogs? A sub–continental assessment of the Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis)

    OpenAIRE

    Penner, Johannes; Weldon, Ché; Adum, Gilbert B.; McElroy, Matthew T.; Doherty-Bone, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    A putative driver of global amphibian decline is the panzootic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). While Bd has been documented across continental Africa, its distribution in West Africa remains ambiguous. We tested 793 West African amphibians (one caecilian and 61 anuran species) for the presence of Bd. The samples originated from seven West African countries - Be´nin, Burkina Faso, Coˆ te d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone - and were collected from a var...

  18. A non-invasive stress assay shows that tadpole populations infected with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis have elevated corticosterone levels

    OpenAIRE

    Gabor, Caitlin R.; Fisher, Matthew C; Bosch, Jaime

    2013-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a fungus that causes the disease chytridiomycosis and is associated with widespread amphibian declines. Populations vary in their susceptibility to Bd infections, and the virulence of the infecting lineage can also vary. Both of these factors may manifest as a differential physiological stress response. In addition, variation in disease susceptibility across amphibian populations may be influenced by immunosuppression caused by chronic stress imposed by ...

  19. Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in Madagascar neither Shows Widespread Presence nor Signs of Certain Establishment

    OpenAIRE

    Kolby, Jonathan E.; Lee F Skerratt

    2015-01-01

    The global spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) is associated with amphibian mass mortality, population decline, and extinction. Over the past decade, concern has been expressed for the potential introduction of Bd to Madagascar, a global hotspot of amphibian biodiversity. Following years without detection, widespread Bd presence in Madagascar has now been reported (Bletz et al. 2015a), raising international conservation concern. Before reacting to this find...

  20. Controlling wildlife fungal disease spread: in vitro efficacy of disinfectants against Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Mucor amphibiorum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Rebecca; Philips, Annie; Speare, Rick; Connolly, Joanne; Berger, Lee

    2012-06-13

    Chytridiomycosis in amphibians, and mucormycosis in the platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus and amphibians, are serious fungal diseases affecting these aquatic taxa. In Tasmania, Australia, the fungi that cause these diseases overlap in range along with Phytophthora cinnamomi (Pc), an invasive fungal plant pathogen. To identify disinfectants that may be useful to reduce anthropogenic spread of these fungi to uninfected wilderness areas, for example by bush walkers and forestry or fire-fighting operations, we tested 3 disinfectants and a fire-fighting foam against Mucor amphibiorum (Ma) and tested 1 disinfectant and the foam against Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Combining the present study with previous work we found Bd was more susceptible to all 4 chemicals than Ma. Phytoclean, a disinfectant used at 2 to 10% for 30 s to control Pc, killed cultures of Bd at 0.075% and Ma at 5%, when also applied for 30 s. The disinfectant F10sc was not effective against Ma at standard exposures, but previous work shows Bd is killed at 0.03% with a 1 min exposure. Path-X is effective against Bd at 0.001% with a 30 s exposure and killed Ma at 1% with a 5 min exposure. Forexpan S, a foam added to water at 0.1 to 1% to control forest fires, killed Bd but not Ma when used at 1% for 2 min. Therefore, Phytoclean and Path-X have broader efficacy, although Path-X has not been trialled against Pc. Interestingly a positive mating strain of Ma (from a platypus) was more resistant to disinfectants than a negative strain (from a frog). Current protocols against Pc that involve high concentrations (10%) of Phytoclean are likely to reduce spread of pathogenic wildlife fungi, which is important for protecting biodiversity. PMID:22691980

  1. Absence of invasive Chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in native Fijian ground frog (Platymantis vitiana populations on Viwa-Tailevu, Fiji Islands

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    Edward Narayan

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available We report on the first survey of chytridiomycosis (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis- Bd in the endangered Fijian ground frog (Platymantis vitiana population on Viwa-Tailevu, Fiji Islands. This fungal pathogen has been implicated as the primary cause of amphibian declines worldwide. Few cases have been reported from tropical Asia however it was recently documented in 4 species of frogs in Indonesia. Two hundred individual frogs were swabbed from 5 different sites on Viwa Island. Swabs were tested to quantify the number of Bd zoospore equivalents using real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR technique. We found zero (% prevalence of Bd in ground frogs. The lack of Bd may be due to 1 hot weather all year round inhibiting the spread of Bd, 2 Bd may be absent from Viwa Island due to a lack of amphibian introductions (not introduced or importation of exotic frogs such as Rana catesbeia-na, or Xenopus spp or pet trade spp or 3 the lack of introduction by human vectors due to the geographic isolation, and low visitation of non-local people into the island. While it is difficult to test these hypotheses, a precautionary approach would suggest an effective quarantine is required to protect Fiji’s endemic frogs from future disease outbreak. Conservation effort and research is needed at international level to assist the Fiji government in monitoring and protecting their unique endemic amphibians from outbreaks of B. dendrobatidis.

  2. Prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Xenopus collected in Africa (1871-2000 and in California (2001-2010.

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    Vance T Vredenburg

    Full Text Available International trade of the invasive South African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis, a subclinical carrier of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatis (Bd has been proposed as a major means of introduction of Bd into naïve, susceptible amphibian populations. The historical presence of Bd in the indigenous African population of Xenopus is well documented. However, there are no reports documenting the presence of Bd in wild Xenopus populations in the US, particularly in California where introduced populations are well-established after intentional or accidental release. In this report, a survey was conducted on 178 archived specimens of 6 species of Xenopus collected in Africa from 1871-2000 and on 23 archived specimens (all wild-caught Xenopus laevis collected in California, USA between 2001 and 2010. The overall prevalence rate of Bd in the tested Xenopus was 2.8%. The earliest positive specimen was X. borealis collected in Kenya in 1934. The overall prevalence of Bd in the X. laevis collected in California was 13% with 2 positive specimens from 2001 and one positive specimen from 2003. The positive Xenopus (3/23 collected in California were collected in 2001 (2/3 and 2003 (1/3. These data document the presence of Bd-infected wild Xenopus laevis in California. The findings reported here support the prevailing hypothesis that Bd was present as a stable, endemic infection in Xenopus populations in Africa prior to their worldwide distribution likely via international live-amphibian trade.

  3. Cool Temperatures Reduce Antifungal Activity of Symbiotic Bacteria of Threatened Amphibians – Implications for Disease Management and Patterns of Decline

    OpenAIRE

    Daskin, Joshua H.; Bell, Sara C.; Schwarzkopf, Lin; Ross A. Alford

    2014-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a widespread disease of amphibians responsible for population declines and extinctions. Some bacteria from amphibians’ skins produce antimicrobial substances active against Bd. Supplementing populations of these cutaneous antifungal bacteria might help manage chytridiomycosis in wild amphibians. However, the activity of protective bacteria may depend upon environmental conditions. Biocontrol of Bd in nature thus re...

  4. Effects of temperature and hydric environment on survival of the Panamanian Golden Frog infected with a pathogenic chytrid fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bustamante, Heidi M; Livo, Lauren J; Carey, Cynthia

    2010-06-01

    Considerable controversy exists concerning whether or not climate changes (particularly global warming) are causing outbreaks of a lethal amphibian pathogen, the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Longcore, Pessier & D.K. Nichols 1999). In the present study, groups of Panamanian golden frogs (Atelopus zeteki Dunn, 1993), a critically endangered amphibian thought to be nearly extinct in Panama, were exposed to varying dosages of zoospores of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, temperatures and hydric environments in order to learn whether this species is susceptible to this pathogen and, if so, how environmental factors affect survival. This pathogen proved to be highly lethal for A. zeteki. Frogs exposed to a dosage of 100 Bd zoospores survived significantly (P<0.0001) longer than those that had been exposed to 10(4) or 10(6) zoospores. Exposed frogs housed at 23 °C survived significantly (P<0.0001) longer than those that were housed at 17 °C. Exposed frogs held in dry conditions survived significantly longer than those in wet conditions (P<0.0001). As a laboratory study, these results do not directly test hypotheses about the relation between climate change and the decline of these frogs in the field, but they inform the discussion about how environmental conditions can have an impact on the interaction between a susceptible amphibian and this pathogen. These data do not support the contention that rising global temperatures are necessary to cause the death of amphibians infected with this pathogen because the pathogen was equally lethal at 17 as at 23 °C, and frogs at the warmer temperature lived significantly longer than those at the cooler one. PMID:21392332

  5. There is no evidence for a temporal link between pathogen arrival and frog extinctions in north-eastern Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben L Phillips

    Full Text Available Pathogen spread can cause population declines and even species extinctions. Nonetheless, in the absence of tailored monitoring schemes, documenting pathogen spread can be difficult. In the case of worldwide amphibian declines the best present understanding is that the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd has recently spread, causing amphibian declines and extinction in the process. However, good evidence demonstrating pathogen arrival followed by amphibian decline is rare, and analysis of putative evidence is often inadequate. Here we attempt to examine the relationship between Bd arrival and amphibian decline across north-eastern Australia, using sites where a wave-like pattern of amphibian decline was first noticed and at which intensive research has since been conducted. We develop an analytical framework that allows rigorous estimation of pathogen arrival date, which can then be used to test for a correlation between the time of pathogen arrival and amphibian decline across sites. Our results show that, with the current dataset, the earliest possible arrival date of Bd in north-eastern Australia is completely unresolved; Bd could have arrived immediately before sampling commenced or may have arrived thousands of years earlier, the present data simply cannot say. The currently available data are thus insufficient to assess the link between timing of pathogen arrival and population decline in this part of the world. This data insufficiency is surprising given that there have been decades of research on chytridiomycosis in Australia and that there is a general belief that the link between Bd arrival and population decline is well resolved in this region. The lack of data on Bd arrival currently acts as a major impediment to determining the role of environmental factors in driving the global amphibian declines, and should be a major focus of future research.

  6. Salamander chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans) in the United States—Developing research, monitoring, and management strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Muths, Erin L.; Katz, Rachel A; Canessa, Stefano; Adams, Michael J.; Ballard, Jennifer R.; Berger, Lee; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Coleman, Jeremy; Gray, Matthew J.; Harris, M. Camille; Harris, Reid N.; Hossack, Blake R.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; Kolby, Jonathan E.; Lips, Karen R.; Lovich, Robert E.; McCallum, Hamish I.; Mendelson, Joseph R., III; Nanjappa, Priya; Olson, Deanna H.; Powers, Jenny G.; Richgels, Katherine L.D.; Russell, Robin E.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieka; Watry, Mary Kay; Woodhams, Douglas C.; White, C. LeAnn

    2016-01-01

    The recently (2013) identified pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), poses a severe threat to the distribution and abundance of salamanders within the United States and Europe. Development of a response strategy for the potential, and likely, invasion of Bsal into the United States is crucial to protect global salamander biodiversity. A formal working group, led by Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins Science Center, and Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, was held at the USGS Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis in Fort Collins, Colorado, United States from June 23 to June 25, 2015, to identify crucial Bsal research and monitoring needs that could inform conservation and management strategies for salamanders in the United States. Key findings of the workshop included the following: (1) the introduction of Bsal into the United States is highly probable, if not inevitable, thus requiring development of immediate short-term and long-term intervention strategies to prevent Bsal establishment and biodiversity decline; (2) management actions targeted towards pathogen containment may be ineffective in reducing the long-term spread of Bsal throughout the United States; and (3) early detection of Bsal through surveillance at key amphibian import locations, among high-risk wild populations, and through analysis of archived samples is necessary for developing management responses. Top research priorities during the preinvasion stage included the following: (1) deployment of qualified diagnostic methods for Bsal and establishment of standardized laboratory practices, (2) assessment of susceptibility for amphibian hosts (including anurans), and (3) development and evaluation of short- and long-term pathogen intervention and management strategies. Several outcomes were achieved during the workshop, including development

  7. Swabbing often fails to detect amphibian Chytridiomycosis under conditions of low infection load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Jaehyub; Bataille, Arnaud; Kosch, Tiffany A; Waldman, Bruce

    2014-01-01

    The pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (denoted Bd), causes large-scale epizootics in naïve amphibian populations. Intervention strategies to rapidly respond to Bd incursions require sensitive and accurate diagnostic methods. Chytridiomycosis usually is assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) amplification of amphibian skin swabs. Results based on this method, however, sometimes yield inconsistent results on infection status and inaccurate scores of infection intensity. In Asia and other regions where amphibians typically bear low Bd loads, swab results are least reliable. We developed a Bd-sampling method that collects zoospores released by infected subjects into an aquatic medium. Bd DNA is extracted by filters and amplified by nested PCR. Using laboratory colonies and field populations of Bombina orientalis, we compare results with those obtained on the same subjects by qPCR of DNA extracted from swabs. Many subjects, despite being diagnosed as Bd-negative by conventional methods, released Bd zoospores into collection containers and thus must be considered infected. Infection loads determined from filtered water were at least 1000 times higher than those estimated from swabs. Subjects significantly varied in infection load, as they intermittently released zoospores, over a 5-day period. Thus, the method might be used to compare the infectivity of individuals and study the periodicity of zoospore release. Sampling methods based on water filtration can dramatically increase the capacity to accurately diagnose chytridiomycosis and contribute to a better understanding of the interactions between Bd and its hosts. PMID:25333363

  8. Transition of chytrid fungus infection from mouthparts to hind limbs during amphibian metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Taegan A; Rohr, Jason R

    2015-03-01

    The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is implicated in worldwide amphibian declines. Bd has been shown to qualitatively transition from the mouthparts of tadpoles to the hindlimbs during metamorphosis, but we lack evidence of consistency in the timing of this transition across amphibian species. We also do not have predictive functions for the abundance of Bd in mouthparts and limbs as tadpoles develop or for the relationship between keratin and Bd abundance. Hence, researchers presently have little guidance on where to sample developing amphibians to maximize Bd detection, which could affect the accuracy of prevalence and abundance estimates for this deadly pathogen. Here, we show consistency in the timing of the transition of Bd from mouthparts to hind limbs across two frog species (Osteopilus septentrionalis and Mixophyes fasciolatus). Keratin and Bd simultaneously declined from the mouthparts starting at approximately Gosner stage 40. However, keratin on the hindlimbs began to appear at approximately stage 38 but, on average, Bd was not detectable on the hindlimbs until approximately stage 40, suggesting a lag between keratin and Bd arrival. Predictive functions for the relationships between developmental stage and keratin and developmental stage and Bd for mouthparts and hind limbs are provided so that researchers can optimize sampling designs and minimize erroneous conclusions associated with missing Bd infections or misestimating Bd abundance. PMID:25384612

  9. Spread of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus across Lowland Populations of Tungara Frogs in Panama.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofía Rodríguez-Brenes

    Full Text Available Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, is an emergent infectious disease partially responsible for worldwide amphibian population declines. The spread of Bd along highland habitats (> 500 meters above sea level, m a.s.l. of Costa Rica and Panamá is well documented and has been linked to amphibian population collapses. In contrast, data are scarce on the prevalence and dispersal of Bd in lowland habitats where amphibians may be infected but asymptomatic. Here we describe the spread (2009 to 2014 of Bd across lowland habitats east of the Panamá Canal (< 500 m a.s.l. with a focus on the Túngara frog (Physalaemus [Engystomops] pustulosus, one of the most common and abundant frog species in this region. Highland populations in western Panamá were already infected with Bd at the start of the study, which was consistent with previous studies indicating that Bd is enzootic in this region. In central Panamá, we collected the first positive samples in 2010, and by 2014, we detected Bd from remote sites in eastern Panamá (Darién National Park. We discuss the importance of studying Bd in lowland species, which may serve as potential reservoirs and agents of dispersal of Bd to highland species that are more susceptible to chytridiomycosis.

  10. Spread of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus across Lowland Populations of Túngara Frogs in Panamá.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Brenes, Sofía; Rodriguez, David; Ibáñez, Roberto; Ryan, Michael J

    2016-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an emergent infectious disease partially responsible for worldwide amphibian population declines. The spread of Bd along highland habitats (> 500 meters above sea level, m a.s.l.) of Costa Rica and Panamá is well documented and has been linked to amphibian population collapses. In contrast, data are scarce on the prevalence and dispersal of Bd in lowland habitats where amphibians may be infected but asymptomatic. Here we describe the spread (2009 to 2014) of Bd across lowland habitats east of the Panamá Canal (< 500 m a.s.l.) with a focus on the Túngara frog (Physalaemus [Engystomops] pustulosus), one of the most common and abundant frog species in this region. Highland populations in western Panamá were already infected with Bd at the start of the study, which was consistent with previous studies indicating that Bd is enzootic in this region. In central Panamá, we collected the first positive samples in 2010, and by 2014, we detected Bd from remote sites in eastern Panamá (Darién National Park). We discuss the importance of studying Bd in lowland species, which may serve as potential reservoirs and agents of dispersal of Bd to highland species that are more susceptible to chytridiomycosis. PMID:27176629

  11. Swabbing often fails to detect amphibian Chytridiomycosis under conditions of low infection load.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaehyub Shin

    Full Text Available The pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (denoted Bd, causes large-scale epizootics in naïve amphibian populations. Intervention strategies to rapidly respond to Bd incursions require sensitive and accurate diagnostic methods. Chytridiomycosis usually is assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR amplification of amphibian skin swabs. Results based on this method, however, sometimes yield inconsistent results on infection status and inaccurate scores of infection intensity. In Asia and other regions where amphibians typically bear low Bd loads, swab results are least reliable. We developed a Bd-sampling method that collects zoospores released by infected subjects into an aquatic medium. Bd DNA is extracted by filters and amplified by nested PCR. Using laboratory colonies and field populations of Bombina orientalis, we compare results with those obtained on the same subjects by qPCR of DNA extracted from swabs. Many subjects, despite being diagnosed as Bd-negative by conventional methods, released Bd zoospores into collection containers and thus must be considered infected. Infection loads determined from filtered water were at least 1000 times higher than those estimated from swabs. Subjects significantly varied in infection load, as they intermittently released zoospores, over a 5-day period. Thus, the method might be used to compare the infectivity of individuals and study the periodicity of zoospore release. Sampling methods based on water filtration can dramatically increase the capacity to accurately diagnose chytridiomycosis and contribute to a better understanding of the interactions between Bd and its hosts.

  12. Spread of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus across Lowland Populations of Túngara Frogs in Panamá

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Brenes, Sofía; Rodriguez, David; Ibáñez, Roberto; Ryan, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an emergent infectious disease partially responsible for worldwide amphibian population declines. The spread of Bd along highland habitats (> 500 meters above sea level, m a.s.l.) of Costa Rica and Panamá is well documented and has been linked to amphibian population collapses. In contrast, data are scarce on the prevalence and dispersal of Bd in lowland habitats where amphibians may be infected but asymptomatic. Here we describe the spread (2009 to 2014) of Bd across lowland habitats east of the Panamá Canal (< 500 m a.s.l.) with a focus on the Túngara frog (Physalaemus [Engystomops] pustulosus), one of the most common and abundant frog species in this region. Highland populations in western Panamá were already infected with Bd at the start of the study, which was consistent with previous studies indicating that Bd is enzootic in this region. In central Panamá, we collected the first positive samples in 2010, and by 2014, we detected Bd from remote sites in eastern Panamá (Darién National Park). We discuss the importance of studying Bd in lowland species, which may serve as potential reservoirs and agents of dispersal of Bd to highland species that are more susceptible to chytridiomycosis. PMID:27176629

  13. Most of the Dominant Members of Amphibian Skin Bacterial Communities Can Be Readily Cultured.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walke, Jenifer B; Becker, Matthew H; Hughey, Myra C; Swartwout, Meredith C; Jensen, Roderick V; Belden, Lisa K

    2015-10-01

    Currently, it is estimated that only 0.001% to 15% of bacteria in any given system can be cultured by use of commonly used techniques and media, yet culturing is critically important for investigations of bacterial function. Despite this situation, few studies have attempted to link culture-dependent and culture-independent data for a single system to better understand which members of the microbial community are readily cultured. In amphibians, some cutaneous bacterial symbionts can inhibit establishment and growth of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, and thus there is great interest in using these symbionts as probiotics for the conservation of amphibians threatened by B. dendrobatidis. The present study examined the portion of the culture-independent bacterial community (based on Illumina amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene) that was cultured with R2A low-nutrient agar and whether the cultured bacteria represented rare or dominant members of the community in the following four amphibian species: bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus), eastern newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer), and American toads (Anaxyrus americanus). To determine which percentage of the community was cultured, we clustered Illumina sequences at 97% similarity, using the culture sequences as a reference database. For each amphibian species, we cultured, on average, 0.59% to 1.12% of each individual's bacterial community. However, the average percentage of bacteria that were culturable for each amphibian species was higher, with averages ranging from 2.81% to 7.47%. Furthermore, most of the dominant operational taxonomic units (OTUs), families, and phyla were represented in our cultures. These results open up new research avenues for understanding the functional roles of these dominant bacteria in host health. PMID:26162880

  14. Linking global climate and temperature variability to widespread amphibian declines putatively caused by disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R

    2010-05-01

    The role of global climate change in the decline of biodiversity and the emergence of infectious diseases remains controversial, and the effect of climatic variability, in particular, has largely been ignored. For instance, it was recently revealed that the proposed link between climate change and widespread amphibian declines, putatively caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), was tenuous because it was based on a temporally confounded correlation. Here we provide temporally unconfounded evidence that global El Niño climatic events drive widespread amphibian losses in genus Atelopus via increased regional temperature variability, which can reduce amphibian defenses against pathogens. Of 26 climate variables tested, only factors associated with temperature variability could account for the spatiotemporal patterns of declines thought to be associated with Bd. Climatic predictors of declines became significant only after controlling for a pattern consistent with epidemic spread (by temporally detrending the data). This presumed spread accounted for 59% of the temporal variation in amphibian losses, whereas El Niño accounted for 59% of the remaining variation. Hence, we could account for 83% of the variation in declines with these two variables alone. Given that global climate change seems to increase temperature variability, extreme climatic events, and the strength of Central Pacific El Niño episodes, climate change might exacerbate worldwide enigmatic declines of amphibians, presumably by increasing susceptibility to disease. These results suggest that changes to temperature variability associated with climate change might be as significant to biodiversity losses and disease emergence as changes to mean temperature. PMID:20404180

  15. Widespread occurrence of the chytrid fungus batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on oregon spotted frogs (rana pretiosa)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearl, C.A.; Bowerman, J.; Adams, M.J.; Chelgren, N.D.

    2009-01-01

    The pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been associated with amphibian declines in multiple continents, including western North America. We investigated Bd prevalence in Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa), a species that has declined across its range in the Pacific Northwest. Polymerase chain reaction analysis of skin swabs indicated that Bd was prevalent within populations (420 of 617 juvenile and adults) and widespread among populations (36 of 36 sites) where we sampled R. pretiosa in Oregon and Washington. We rarely detected Bd in R. pretiosa larvae (2 of 72). Prevalence of Bd in postmetamorphic R. pretiosa was inversely related to frog size. We found support for an interactive effect of elevation and sampling date on Bd: prevalence of Bd generally increased with date, but this effect was more pronounced at lower elevations. We also found evidence that the body condition of juvenile R. pretiosa with Bd decreased after their first winter. Our data indicate that some Oregon spotted frog populations are currently persisting with relatively high Bd prevalence, but the risk posed by Bd is unknown. ?? 2010 International Association for Ecology and Health.

  16. The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-living frogs

    OpenAIRE

    Selene Dall'Acqua Coutinho; Julieta Catarina Burke; Catia Dejuste de Paula; Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues; José Luiz Catão-Dias

    2015-01-01

    Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlant...

  17. Short term minimum water temperatures determine levels of infection by the amphibian chytrid fungus in Alytes obstetricans tadpoles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saioa Fernández-Beaskoetxea

    Full Text Available Amphibians are one of the groups of wildlife most seriously threatened by emerging infectious disease. In particular, chytridiomycosis, caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is responsible for amphibian species declines on a worldwide scale. Population-level outcomes following the introduction of the pathogen are context dependent and mediated by a large suite of abiotic and biotic variables. In particular, studies have shown that temperature has a key role in determining infection dynamics owing to the ectothermic nature of the amphibian host and temperature-dependency of pathogen growth rates. To assess the temperature-dependent seasonality of infectious burdens in a susceptible host species, we monitored lowland populations of larval midwife toads, Alytes obstetricians, in Central Spain throughout the year. We found that infections were highly seasonal, and inversely correlated against water temperature, with the highest burdens of infection seen during the colder months. Short-term impacts of water-temperature were found, with the minimum temperatures occurring before sampling being more highly predictive of infectious burdens than were longer-term spans of temperature. Our results will be useful for selecting the optimal time for disease surveys and, more broadly, for determining the key periods to undertake disease mitigation.

  18. Itraconazole treatment reduces Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence and increases overwinter field survival in juvenile Cascades frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, Bennett M; Pope, Karen L; Piovia-Scott, Jonah; Brown, Richard N; Foley, Janet E

    2015-01-15

    The global spread of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has led to widespread extirpation of amphibian populations. During an intervention aimed at stabilizing at-risk populations, we treated wild-caught Cascades frogs Rana cascadae with the antifungal drug itraconazole. In fall 2012, we collected 60 recently metamorphosed R. cascadae from 1 of the 11 remnant populations in the Cascades Mountains (CA, USA). Of these, 30 randomly selected frogs were treated with itraconazole and the other 30 frogs served as experimental controls; all were released at the capture site. Bd prevalence was low at the time of treatment and did not differ between treated frogs and controls immediately following treatment. Following release, Bd prevalence gradually increased in controls but not in treated frogs, with noticeable (but still non-significant) differences 3 wk after treatment (27% [4/15] vs. 0% [0/13]) and strong differences 5 wk after treatment (67% [8/12] vs. 13% [1/8]). We did not detect any differences in Bd prevalence and load between experimental controls and untreated wild frogs during this time period. In spring 2013, we recaptured 7 treated frogs but none of the experimental control frogs, suggesting that over-winter survival was higher for treated frogs. The itraconazole treatment did appear to reduce growth rates: treated frogs weighed 22% less than control frogs 3 wk after treatment (0.7 vs. 0.9 g) and were 9% shorter than control frogs 5 wk after treatment (18.4 vs. 20.2 mm). However, for critically small populations, increased survival of the most at-risk life stage could prevent or delay extinction. Our results show that itraconazole treatment can be effective against Bd infection in wild amphibians, and therefore the beneficial effects on survivorship may outweigh the detrimental effects on growth. PMID:25590775

  19. Tolerance of fungal infection in European water frogs exposed to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis after experimental reduction of innate immune defenses

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    Woodhams Douglas C

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background While emerging diseases are affecting many populations of amphibians, some populations are resistant. Determining the relative contributions of factors influencing disease resistance is critical for effective conservation management. Innate immune defenses in amphibian skin are vital host factors against a number of emerging pathogens such as ranaviruses and the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Adult water frogs from Switzerland (Pelophylax esculentus and P. lessonae collected in the field with their natural microbiota intact were exposed to Bd after experimental reduction of microbiota, skin peptides, both, or neither to determine the relative contributions of these defenses. Results Naturally-acquired Bd infections were detected in 10/51 P. lessonae and 4/19 P. esculentus, but no disease outbreaks or population declines have been detected at this site. Thus, this population was immunologically primed, and disease resistant. No mortality occurred during the 64 day experiment. Forty percent of initially uninfected frogs became sub-clinically infected upon experimental exposure to Bd. Reduction of both skin peptide and microbiota immune defenses caused frogs to gain less mass when exposed to Bd than frogs in other treatments. Microbiota-reduced frogs increased peptide production upon Bd infection. Ranavirus was undetectable in all but two frogs that appeared healthy in the field, but died within a week under laboratory conditions. Virus was detectable in both toe-clips and internal organs. Conclusion Intact skin microbiota reduced immune activation and can minimize subclinical costs of infection. Tolerance of Bd or ranavirus infection may differ with ecological conditions.

  20. Sodium chloride inhibits the growth and infective capacity of the amphibian chytrid fungus and increases host survival rates.

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    Michelle Pirrie Stockwell

    Full Text Available The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a recently emerged pathogen that causes the infectious disease chytridiomycosis and has been implicated as a contributing factor in the global amphibian decline. Since its discovery, research has been focused on developing various methods of mitigating the impact of chytridiomycosis on amphibian hosts but little attention has been given to the role of antifungal agents that could be added to the host's environment. Sodium chloride is a known antifungal agent used routinely in the aquaculture industry and this study investigates its potential for use as a disease management tool in amphibian conservation. The effect of 0-5 ppt NaCl on the growth, motility and survival of the chytrid fungus when grown in culture media and its effect on the growth, infection load and survivorship of infected Peron's tree frogs (Litoria peronii in captivity, was investigated. The results reveal that these concentrations do not negatively affect the survival of the host or the pathogen. However, concentrations greater than 3 ppt significantly reduced the growth and motility of the chytrid fungus compared to 0 ppt. Concentrations of 1-4 ppt NaCl were also associated with significantly lower host infection loads while infected hosts exposed to 3 and 4 ppt NaCl were found to have significantly higher survival rates. These results support the potential for NaCl to be used as an environmentally distributed antifungal agent for the prevention of chytridiomycosis in susceptible amphibian hosts. However, further research is required to identify any negative effects of salt exposure on both target and non-target organisms prior to implementation.

  1. Rapid global expansion of the fungal disease chytridiomycosis into declining and healthy amphibian populations.

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    Timothy Y James

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available The fungal disease chytridiomycosis, caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is enigmatic because it occurs globally in both declining and apparently healthy (non-declining amphibian populations. This distribution has fueled debate concerning whether, in sites where it has recently been found, the pathogen was introduced or is endemic. In this study, we addressed the molecular population genetics of a global collection of fungal strains from both declining and healthy amphibian populations using DNA sequence variation from 17 nuclear loci and a large fragment from the mitochondrial genome. We found a low rate of DNA polymorphism, with only two sequence alleles detected at each locus, but a high diversity of diploid genotypes. Half of the loci displayed an excess of heterozygous genotypes, consistent with a primarily clonal mode of reproduction. Despite the absence of obvious sex, genotypic diversity was high (44 unique genotypes out of 59 strains. We provide evidence that the observed genotypic variation can be generated by loss of heterozygosity through mitotic recombination. One strain isolated from a bullfrog possessed as much allelic diversity as the entire global sample, suggesting the current epidemic can be traced back to the outbreak of a single clonal lineage. These data are consistent with the current chytridiomycosis epidemic resulting from a novel pathogen undergoing a rapid and recent range expansion. The widespread occurrence of the same lineage in both healthy and declining populations suggests that the outcome of the disease is contingent on environmental factors and host resistance.

  2. Dead or alive? Viability of chytrid zoospores shed from live amphibian hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maguire, Chelsea; DiRenzo, Graziella V; Tunstall, Tate S; Muletz, Carly R; Zamudio, Kelly R; Lips, Karen R

    2016-05-26

    Pathogens vary in virulence and rates of transmission because of many differences in the host, the pathogen, and their environment. The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), affects amphibian hosts differently, causing extinction and population declines in some species but having limited effects on others. Phenotypic differences in zoospore production rates among Bd lineages likely contribute to some of the variation observed among host responses, although no studies have quantified the viability of zoospores shed from live animals. We compared host survivorship, infection intensity, shedding rates, and zoospore viability between 2 species of endangered tropical frogs, Hylomantis lemur and Atelopus zeteki, when exposed to a highly virulent lineage of Bd (JEL 423). We applied a dye to zoospores 30 to 60 min following animal soaks, to estimate shedding rate and proportion of live zoospores shed by different species. The average infection intensity for A. zeteki was nearly 17 times higher (31,455 ± 10,103 zoospore genomic equivalents [ZGEs]) than that of H. lemur (1832 ± 1086 ZGEs), and A. zeteki died earlier than H. lemur. The proportion of viable zoospores was ~80% in both species throughout the experiment, although A. zeteki produced many more zoospores, suggesting it may play a disproportionate role in spreading disease in communities where it occurs, because the large number of viable zoospores they produce might increase infection in other species where they are reintroduced. PMID:27225201

  3. Inhibition of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Caused by Bacteria Isolated from the Skin of Boreal Toads, Anaxyrus (Bufo) boreas boreas, from Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA

    OpenAIRE

    Park, Shawna T; Collingwood, Amanda M; Sophie St-Hilaire; Sheridan, Peter P.

    2014-01-01

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a significant cause of the worldwide decline in amphibian populations; however, various amphibian species are capable of coexisting with B. dendrobatidis. Among them are boreal toads (Anaxyrus (Bufo) boreas boreas) located in Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) in Wyoming, USA. The purpose of this study was to identify cultivable bacterial isolates from the skin microbiota of boreal toads from GTNP and determine if they were capable of inhibit...

  4. Patterns of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis transmission between tadpoles in a high-elevation rainforest stream in tropical Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagman, Mattias; Alford, Ross A

    2015-08-20

    The highly virulent fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) poses a global threat to amphibian biodiversity. Streams and other water bodies are central habitats in the ecology of the disease, particularly in rainforests where they may transport and transmit the pathogen and harbor infected tadpoles that serve as reservoir hosts. We conducted an experiment using larval green-eyed tree frogs Litoria serrata in semi-natural streamside channels to test the hypotheses that (1) the fungus can be transmitted downstream in stream habitats and (2) infection affects tadpole growth and mouthpart loss. Our results showed that transmission can occur downstream in flowing water with no contact between individuals, that newly infected tadpoles suffered increased mouthpart loss in comparison with controls that were never infected and that infected tadpoles grew at reduced rates. Although recently infected tadpoles showed substantial loss of mouthparts, individuals with longstanding infections did not, suggesting that mouthparts may re-grow following initial loss. Our study suggests that any management efforts that can reduce the prevalence of infections in tadpoles may be particularly effective if applied in headwater areas, as their effects are likely to be felt downstream. PMID:26290506

  5. Seasonal and ontogenetic variation of skin microbial communities and relationships to natural disease dynamics in declining amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longo, Ana V; Savage, Anna E; Hewson, Ian; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2015-07-01

    Recently, microbiologists have focused on characterizing the probiotic role of skin bacteria for amphibians threatened by the fungal disease chytridiomycosis. However, the specific characteristics of microbial diversity required to maintain health or trigger disease are still not well understood in natural populations. We hypothesized that seasonal and developmental transitions affecting susceptibility to chytridiomycosis could also alter the stability of microbial assemblages. To test our hypothesis, we examined patterns of skin bacterial diversity in two species of declining amphibians (Lithobates yavapaiensis and Eleutherodactylus coqui) affected by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). We focused on two important transitions that affect Bd susceptibility: ontogenetic (from juvenile to adult) shifts in E. coqui and seasonal (from summer to winter) shifts in L. yavapaiensis. We used a combination of community-fingerprinting analyses and 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to quantify changes in bacterial diversity and assemblage composition between seasons and developmental stages, and to investigate the relationship between bacterial diversity and pathogen load. We found that winter-sampled frogs and juveniles, two states associated with increased Bd susceptibility, exhibited higher diversity compared with summer-sampled frogs and adult individuals. Our findings also revealed that hosts harbouring higher bacterial diversity carried lower Bd infections, providing support for the protective role of bacterial communities. Ongoing work to understand skin microbiome resilience after pathogen disturbance has the potential to identify key taxa involved in disease resistance. PMID:26587253

  6. Amphibian-killing chytrid in Brazil comprises both locally endemic and globally expanding populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkinson, T S; Betancourt Román, C M; Lambertini, C; Valencia-Aguilar, A; Rodriguez, D; Nunes-de-Almeida, C H L; Ruggeri, J; Belasen, A M; da Silva Leite, D; Zamudio, K R; Longcore, J E; Toledo, F L; James, T Y

    2016-07-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is the emerging infectious disease implicated in recent population declines and extinctions of amphibian species worldwide. Bd strains from regions of disease-associated amphibian decline to date have all belonged to a single, hypervirulent clonal genotype (Bd-GPL). However, earlier studies in the Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil detected a novel, putatively enzootic lineage (Bd-Brazil), and indicated hybridization between Bd-GPL and Bd-Brazil. Here, we characterize the spatial distribution and population history of these sympatric lineages in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. To investigate the genetic structure of Bd in this region, we collected and genotyped Bd strains along a 2400-km transect of the Atlantic Forest. Bd-Brazil genotypes were restricted to a narrow geographic range in the southern Atlantic Forest, while Bd-GPL strains were widespread and largely geographically unstructured. Bd population genetics in this region support the hypothesis that the recently discovered Brazilian lineage is enzootic in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil and that Bd-GPL is a more recently expanded invasive. We collected additional hybrid isolates that demonstrate the recurrence of hybridization between panzootic and enzootic lineages, thereby confirming the existence of a hybrid zone in the Serra da Graciosa mountain range of Paraná State. Our field observations suggest that Bd-GPL may be more infective towards native Brazilian amphibians, and potentially more effective at dispersing across a fragmented landscape. We also provide further evidence of pathogen translocations mediated by the Brazilian ranaculture industry with implications for regulations and policies on global amphibian trade. PMID:26939017

  7. Larval Environment Alters Amphibian Immune Defenses Differentially across Life Stages and Populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine L Krynak

    Full Text Available Recent global declines, extirpations and extinctions of wildlife caused by newly emergent diseases highlight the need to improve our knowledge of common environmental factors that affect the strength of immune defense traits. To achieve this goal, we examined the influence of acidification and shading of the larval environment on amphibian skin-associated innate immune defense traits, pre and post-metamorphosis, across two populations of American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana, a species known for its wide-ranging environmental tolerance and introduced global distribution. We assessed treatment effects on 1 skin-associated microbial communities and 2 post-metamorphic antimicrobial peptide (AMP production and 3 AMP bioactivity against the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. While habitat acidification did not affect survival, time to metamorphosis or juvenile mass, we found that a change in average pH from 7 to 6 caused a significant shift in the larval skin microbial community, an effect which disappeared after metamorphosis. Additionally, we found shifts in skin-associated microbial communities across life stages suggesting they are affected by the physiological or ecological changes associated with amphibian metamorphosis. Moreover, we found that post-metamorphic AMP production and bioactivity were significantly affected by the interactions between pH and shade treatments and interactive effects differed across populations. In contrast, there were no significant interactions between treatments on post-metamorphic microbial community structure suggesting that variation in AMPs did not affect microbial community structure within our study. Our findings indicate that commonly encountered variation in the larval environment (i.e. pond pH and degree of shading can have both immediate and long-term effects on the amphibian innate immune defense traits. Our work suggests that the susceptibility of amphibians to emerging diseases could be

  8. The Emerging Amphibian Fungal Disease, Chytridiomycosis: A Key Example of the Global Phenomenon of Wildlife Emerging Infectious Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Daszak, Peter

    2016-06-01

    The spread of amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is associated with the emerging infectious wildlife disease chytridiomycosis. This fungus poses an overwhelming threat to global amphibian biodiversity and is contributing toward population declines and extinctions worldwide. Extremely low host-species specificity potentially threatens thousands of the 7,000+ amphibian species with infection, and hosts in additional classes of organisms have now also been identified, including crayfish and nematode worms.Soon after the discovery of B. dendrobatidis in 1999, it became apparent that this pathogen was already pandemic; dozens of countries and hundreds of amphibian species had already been exposed. The timeline of B. dendrobatidis's global emergence still remains a mystery, as does its point of origin. The reason why B. dendrobatidis seems to have only recently increased in virulence to catalyze this global disease event remains unknown, and despite 15 years of investigation, this wildlife pandemic continues primarily uncontrolled. Some disease treatments are effective on animals held in captivity, but there is currently no proven method to eradicate B. dendrobatidis from an affected habitat, nor have we been able to protect new regions from exposure despite knowledge of an approaching "wave" of B. dendrobatidis and ensuing disease.International spread of B. dendrobatidis is largely facilitated by the commercial trade in live amphibians. Chytridiomycosis was recently listed as a globally notifiable disease by the World Organization for Animal Health, but few countries, if any, have formally adopted recommended measures to control its spread. Wildlife diseases continue to emerge as a consequence of globalization, and greater effort is urgently needed to protect global health. PMID:27337484

  9. Asian strain of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is widespread in the Western Ghats, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molur, Sanjay; Krutha, Keerthi; Paingankar, Mandar S; Dahanukar, Neelesh

    2015-01-15

    We investigated the distribution of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) fungal infections in amphibians of the Western Ghats mountain range in India, based on data from 497 samples. Eight individuals were positive, with genomic equivalents ranging from 2 to 785 zoospores. A single widespread Bd strain identical to the haplotype endemic to Asia was isolated. Our findings suggest that chytridiomycosis is widespread among the endemic and threatened amphibians of the entire stretch of the Western Ghats. An ecological niche-based prediction model based on all Bd-positive reports from the Western Ghats to date suggested a higher probability of infection in the central Western Ghats of Karnataka and northern Kerala states, which host a rich diversity of endemic and threatened amphibians. PMID:25590776

  10. Microbiome Variation Across Amphibian Skin Regions: Implications for Chytridiomycosis Mitigation Efforts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bataille, Arnaud; Lee-Cruz, Larisa; Tripathi, Binu; Kim, Hyoki; Waldman, Bruce

    2016-01-01

    Cutaneous bacteria may play an important role in the resistance of amphibians to the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Microbial communities resident on hosts' skin show topographical diversity mapping to skin features, as demonstrated by studies of the human microbiome. We examined skin microbiomes of wild and captive fire-bellied toads (Bombina orientalis) for differences across their body surface. We found that bacterial communities differed between ventral and dorsal skin. Wild toads showed slightly higher bacterial richness and diversity in the dorsal compared to the ventral region. On the other hand, captive toads hosted a higher richness and diversity of bacteria on their ventral than their dorsal skin. Microbial community composition and relative abundance of major bacterial taxonomic groups also differed between ventral and dorsal skin in all populations. Furthermore, microbiome diversity patterns varied as a function of their Bd infection status in wild toads. Bacterial richness and diversity was greater, and microbial community structure more complex, in wild than captive toads. The results suggest that bacterial community structure is influenced by microhabitats associated with skin regions. These local communities may be differentially modified when interacting with environmental bacteria and Bd. A better understanding of microbiome variation across skin regions will be needed to assess how the skin microbiota affects the abilities of amphibian hosts to resist Bd infection, especially in captive breeding programs. PMID:26271741

  11. Effects of the amphibian chytrid fungus and four insecticides on Pacific treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhez, Peter; Boone, Michelle D.; Fellers, Gary

    2012-01-01

    Chemical contamination may influence host-pathogen interactions, which has implications for amphibian population declines. We examined the effects of four insecticides alone or as a mixture on development and metamorphosis of Pacific Treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla) in the presence or absence of the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis [Bd]). Bd exposure had a negative impact on tadpole activity, survival to metamorphosis, time to metamorphosis, and time of tail absorption (with a marginally negative effect on mass at metamorphosis); however, no individuals tested positive for Bd at metamorphosis. The presence of sublethal concentrations of insecticides alone or in a mixture did not impact Pacific Treefrog activity as tadpoles, survival to metamorphosis, or time and size to metamorphosis. Insecticide exposure did not influence the effect of Bd exposure. Our study did not support our prediction that effects of Bd would be greater in the presence of expected environmental concentrations of insecticide(s), but it did show that Bd had negative effects on responses at metamorphosis that could reduce the quality of juveniles recruited into the population.

  12. Widespread Occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Contemporary and Historical Samples of the Endangered Bombina pachypus along the Italian Peninsula

    OpenAIRE

    Canestrelli, Daniele; Zampiglia, Mauro; Nascetti, Giuseppe

    2013-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is considered a main driver of the worldwide declines and extinctions of amphibian populations. Nonetheless, fundamental questions about its epidemiology, including whether it acts mainly as a “lone killer” or in conjunction with other factors, remain largely open. In this paper we analysed contemporary and historical samples of the endangered Apennine yellow-bellied toad (Bombina pachypus) along the Italian peninsula, in order to assess the presence of the path...

  13. The Lethal Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Is Present in Lowland Tropical Forests of Far Eastern Panamá

    OpenAIRE

    Eria A Rebollar; Myra C. Hughey; Harris, Reid N.; Domangue, Rickie J; Daniel Medina; Roberto Ibáñez; Lisa K Belden

    2014-01-01

    The fungal disease chytridiomycosis, caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is one of the main causes of amphibian population declines and extinctions all over the world. In the Neotropics, this fungal disease has caused catastrophic declines in the highlands as it has spread throughout Central America down to Panamá. In this study, we determined the prevalence and intensity of Bd infection in three species of frogs in one highland and four lowland tropical forests, including two lowl...

  14. Disease risk in temperate amphibian populations is higher at closed-canopy sites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Guilherme Becker

    Full Text Available Habitat loss and chytridiomycosis (a disease caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis - Bd are major drivers of amphibian declines worldwide. Habitat loss regulates host-pathogen interactions by altering biotic and abiotic factors directly linked to both host and pathogen fitness. Therefore, studies investigating the links between natural vegetation and chytridiomycosis require integrative approaches to control for the multitude of possible interactions of biological and environmental variables in spatial epidemiology. In this study, we quantified Bd infection dynamics across a gradient of natural vegetation and microclimates, looking for causal associations between vegetation cover, multiple microclimatic variables, and pathogen prevalence and infection intensity. To minimize the effects of host diversity in our analyses, we sampled amphibian populations in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, a region with relatively high single-host dominance. We sampled permanent ponds for anurans, focusing on populations of the habitat generalist frog Lithobates clamitans, and recorded various biotic and abiotic factors that potentially affect host-pathogen interactions: natural vegetation, canopy density, water temperature, and host population and community attributes. We screened for important explanatory variables of Bd infections and used path analyses to statistically test for the strength of cascading effects linking vegetation cover, microclimate, and Bd parameters. We found that canopy density, natural vegetation, and daily average water temperature were the best predictors of Bd. High canopy density resulted in lower water temperature, which in turn predicted higher Bd prevalence and infection intensity. Our results confirm that microclimatic shifts arising from changes in natural vegetation play an important role in Bd spatial epidemiology, with areas of closed canopy favoring Bd. Given increasing rates of anthropogenic

  15. Detection of spring viraemia of carp virus in imported amphibians reveals an unanticipated foreign animal disease threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ip, Hon S; Lorch, Jeffrey M; Blehert, David S

    2016-01-01

    Global translocation of plants and animals is a well-recognized mechanism for introduction of pathogens into new regions. To mitigate this risk, various tools such as preshipment health certificates, quarantines, screening for specific disease agents and outright bans have been implemented. However, such measures only target known infectious agents and their hosts and may fail to prevent translocation of even well-recognized pathogens if they are carried by novel host species. In a recent example, we screened an imported shipment of Chinese firebelly newts (Cynops orientalis) for Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, an emergent fungal pathogen of salamanders. All animals tested negative for the fungus. However, a virus was cultured from internal organs from 7 of the 11 individual dead salamanders and from two pools of tissues from four additional dead animals. Sequencing of a portion of the glycoprotein gene from all viral isolates indicated 100% identity and that they were most closely related to spring viraemia of carp virus (SVCV). Subsequently, SVCV-specific PCR testing indicated the presence of virus in internal organs from each of the four animals previously pooled, and whole-genome sequencing of one of the viral isolates confirmed genomic arrangement characteristic of SVCV. SVCV is a rhabdovirus pathogen of cyprinid fish that is listed as notifiable to the Office International des Epizooties. This discovery reveals a novel route for potential spillover of this economically important pathogen as rhabdovirus has not previously been documented in amphibians. PMID:27599472

  16. Chytrid fungus infections in laboratory and introduced Xenopus laevis populations:assessing the risks for U.K. native amphibians

    OpenAIRE

    Tinsley, Richard C.; Coxhead, Peter George; Stott, Lucy C; Tinsley, Matthew C.; Piccinni, Maya Z.; Guille, Matthew J.

    2015-01-01

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is notorious amongst current conservation biology challenges, responsible for mass mortality and extinction of amphibian species. World trade in amphibians is implicated in global dissemination. Exports of South African Xenopus laevis have led to establishment of this invasive species on four continents. Bd naturally infects this host in Africa and now occurs in several introduced populations. However, no previous studies have investigate...

  17. Unlikely remedy: fungicide clears infection from pathogenic fungus in larval southern leopard frogs (Lithobates sphenocephalus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shane M Hanlon

    Full Text Available Amphibians are often exposed to a wide variety of perturbations. Two of these, pesticides and pathogens, are linked to declines in both amphibian health and population viability. Many studies have examined the separate effects of such perturbations; however, few have examined the effects of simultaneous exposure of both to amphibians. In this study, we exposed larval southern leopard frog tadpoles (Lithobates sphenocephalus to the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and the fungicide thiophanate-methyl (TM at 0.6 mg/L under laboratory conditions. The experiment was continued until all larvae completed metamorphosis or died. Overall, TM facilitated increases in tadpole mass and length. Additionally, individuals exposed to both TM and Bd were heavier and larger, compared to all other treatments. TM also cleared Bd in infected larvae. We conclude that TM affects larval anurans to facilitate growth and development while clearing Bd infection. Our findings highlight the need for more research into multiple perturbations, specifically pesticides and disease, to further promote amphibian heath.

  18. Microscopic aquatic predators strongly affect infection dynamics of a globally emerged pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmeller, Dirk S; Blooi, Mark; Martel, An; Garner, Trenton W J; Fisher, Matthew C; Azemar, Frédéric; Clare, Frances C; Leclerc, Camille; Jäger, Lea; Guevara-Nieto, Michelle; Loyau, Adeline; Pasmans, Frank

    2014-01-20

    Research on emerging infectious wildlife diseases has placed particular emphasis on host-derived barriers to infection and disease. This focus neglects important extrinsic determinants of the host/pathogen dynamic, where all barriers to infection should be considered when ascertaining the determinants of infectivity and pathogenicity of wildlife pathogens. Those pathogens with free-living stages, such as fungi causing catastrophic wildlife declines on a global scale, must confront lengthy exposure to environmental barriers before contact with an uninfected host. Hostile environmental conditions therefore have the ability to decrease the density of infectious particles, reducing the force of infection and ameliorating the impact as well as the probability of establishing an infection. Here we show that, in nature, the risk of infection and infectious burden of amphibians infected by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) have a significant, site-specific component, and that these correlate with the microfauna present at a site. Experimental infections show that aquatic microfauna can rapidly lower the abundance and density of infectious stages by consuming Bd zoospores, resulting in a significantly reduced probability of infection in anuran tadpoles. Our findings offer new perspectives for explaining the divergent impacts of Bd infection in amphibian assemblages and contribute to our understanding of ecosystem resilience to colonization by novel pathogens. PMID:24374305

  19. Elevation, temperature, and aquatic connectivity all influence the infection dynamics of the amphibian chytrid fungus in adult frogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah J Sapsford

    Full Text Available Infectious diseases can cause population declines and even extinctions. The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, has caused population declines and extinctions in amphibians on most continents. In the tropics, research on the dynamics of this disease has focused on amphibian populations in mountainous areas. In most of these areas, high and low elevation sites are connected by an assemblage of streams that may transport the infectious stage of the pathogen from high to low elevations, and, also, this pathogen, which grows well at cool temperatures, may persist better in cooler water flowing from high elevations. Thus, the dynamics of disease at low elevation sites without aquatic connections to higher elevation sites, i.e., non-contiguous low elevation sites, may differ from dynamics at contiguous low elevation sites. We sampled adult common mistfrogs (Litoria rheocola at six sites of three types: two at high (> 400 m elevations, two at low elevations contiguous with high elevation streams, and two at low elevations non-contiguous with any high elevation site. Adults were swabbed for Bd diagnosis from June 2010 to June 2011 in each season, over a total of five sampling periods. The prevalence of Bd fluctuated seasonally and was highest in winter across all site types. Site type significantly affected seasonal patterns of prevalence of Bd. Prevalence remained well above zero throughout the year at the high elevation sites. Prevalence declined to lower levels in contiguous low sites, and reached near-zero at non-contiguous low sites. Patterns of air temperature fluctuation were very similar at both the low elevation site types, suggesting that differences in water connectivity to high sites may have affected the seasonal dynamics of Bd prevalence between contiguous and non-contiguous low elevation site types. Our results also suggest that reservoir hosts may be important in the persistence of disease at low elevations.

  20. Trophic dynamics in an aquatic community: interactions among primary producers, grazers, and a pathogenic fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buck, Julia C; Scholz, Katharina I; Rohr, Jason R; Blaustein, Andrew R

    2015-05-01

    Free-living stages of parasites are consumed by a variety of predators, which might have important consequences for predators, parasites, and hosts. For example, zooplankton prey on the infectious stage of the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a pathogen responsible for amphibian population declines and extinctions worldwide. Predation on parasites is predicted to influence community structure and function, and affect disease risk, but relatively few studies have explored its consequences empirically. We investigated interactions among Rana cascadae tadpoles, zooplankton, and Bd in a fully factorial experiment in outdoor mesocosms. We measured growth, development, survival, and infection of amphibians and took weekly measurements of the abundance of zooplankton, phytoplankton (suspended algae), and periphyton (attached algae). We hypothesized that zooplankton might have positive indirect effects on tadpoles by consuming Bd zoospores and by consuming phytoplankton, thus reducing the shading of a major tadpole resource, periphyton. We also hypothesized that zooplankton would have negative effects on tadpoles, mediated by competition for algal resources. Mixed-effects models, repeated-measures ANOVAs, and a structural equation model revealed that zooplankton significantly reduced phytoplankton but had no detectable effects on Bd or periphyton. Hence, the indirect positive effects of zooplankton on tadpoles were negligible when compared to the indirect negative effect mediated by competition for phytoplankton. We conclude that examination of host-pathogen dynamics within a community context may be necessary to elucidate complex community dynamics. PMID:25432573

  1. Reptiles, Amphibians, and Salmonella

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... What's this? Submit Button Past Emails CDC Features Reptiles, Amphibians, and Salmonella Language: English Español (Spanish) Recommend ... live. How do people get Salmonella infections from reptiles and amphibians? Reptiles and amphibians might have Salmonella ...

  2. Host species composition influences infection severity among amphibians in the absence of spillover transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Barbara A; Kerby, Jacob L; Searle, Catherine L; Storfer, Andrew; Blaustein, Andrew R

    2015-04-01

    Wildlife epidemiological outcomes can depend strongly on the composition of an ecological community, particularly when multiple host species are affected by the same pathogen. However, the relationship between host species richness and disease risk can vary with community context and with the degree of spillover transmission that occurs among co-occurring host species. We examined the degree to which host species composition influences infection by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a widespread fungal pathogen associated with amphibian population declines around the world, and whether transmission occurs from one highly susceptible host species to other co-occurring host species. By manipulating larval assemblages of three sympatric amphibian species in the laboratory, we characterized the relationship between host species richness and infection severity, whether infection mediates growth and survivorship differently across various combinations of host species, and whether Bd is transmitted from experimentally inoculated tadpoles to uninfected tadpoles. We found evidence of a dilution effect where Bd infection severity was dramatically reduced in the most susceptible of the three host species (Anaxyrus boreas). Infection also mediated survival and growth of all three host species such that the presence of multiple host species had both positive (e.g., infection reduction) and negative (e.g., mortality) effects on focal species. However, we found no evidence that Bd infection is transmitted by this species. While these results demonstrate that host species richness as well as species identity underpin infection dynamics in this system, dilution is not the product of reduced transmission via fewer infectious individuals of a susceptible host species. We discuss various mechanisms, including encounter reduction and antagonistic interactions such as competition and opportunistic cannibalism that may act in concert to mediate patterns of infection severity, growth

  3. Interactions between amphibians' symbiotic bacteria cause the production of emergent anti-fungal metabolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loudon, Andrew H; Holland, Jessica A; Umile, Thomas P; Burzynski, Elizabeth A; Minbiole, Kevin P C; Harris, Reid N

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians possess beneficial skin bacteria that protect against the disease chytridiomycosis by producing secondary metabolites that inhibit the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Metabolite production may be a mechanism of competition between bacterial species that results in host protection as a by-product. We expect that some co-cultures of bacterial species or strains will result in greater Bd inhibition than mono-cultures. To test this, we cultured four bacterial isolates (Bacillus sp., Janthinobacterium sp., Pseudomonas sp. and Chitinophaga arvensicola) from red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) and cultured isolates both alone and together to collect their cell-free supernatants (CFS). We challenged Bd with CFSs from four bacterial species in varying combinations. This resulted in three experimental treatments: (1) CFSs of single isolates; (2) combined CFSs of two isolates; and (3) CFSs from co-cultures. Pair-wise combinations of four bacterial isolates CFSs were assayed against Bd and revealed additive Bd inhibition in 42.2% of trials, synergistic inhibition in 42.2% and no effect in 16.6% of trials. When bacteria isolates were grown in co-cultures, complete Bd inhibition was generally observed, and synergistic inhibition occurred in four out of six trials. A metabolite profile of the most potent co-culture, Bacillus sp. and Chitinophaga arvensicola, was determined with LC-MS and compared with the profiles of each isolate in mono-culture. Emergent metabolites appearing in the co-culture were inhibitory to Bd, and the most potent inhibitor was identified as tryptophol. Thus mono-cultures of bacteria cultured from red-backed salamanders interacted synergistically and additively to inhibit Bd, and such bacteria produced emergent metabolites when cultured together, with even greater pathogen inhibition. Knowledge of how bacterial species interact to inhibit Bd can be used to select probiotics to provide amphibians with protection against Bd

  4. Ecopathology of Ranaviruses Infecting Amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Storfer

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Ranaviruses are capable of infecting amphibians from at least 14 families and over 70 individual species. Ranaviruses infect multiple cell types, often culminating in organ necrosis and massive hemorrhaging. Subclinical infections have been documented, although their role in ranavirus persistence and emergence remains unclear. Water is an effective transmission medium for ranaviruses, and survival outside the host may be for significant duration. In aquatic communities, amphibians, reptiles and fish may serve as reservoirs. Controlled studies have shown that susceptibility to ranavirus infection and disease varies among amphibian species and developmental stages, and likely is impacted by host-pathogen coevolution, as well as, exogenous environmental factors. Field studies have demonstrated that the likelihood of epizootics is increased in areas of cattle grazing, where aquatic vegetation is sparse and water quality is poor. Translocation of infected amphibians through commercial trade (e.g., food, fish bait, pet industry contributes to the spread of ranaviruses. Such introductions may be of particular concern, as several studies report that ranaviruses isolated from ranaculture, aquaculture, and bait facilities have greater virulence (i.e., ability to cause disease than wild-type isolates. Future investigations should focus on the genetic basis for pathogen virulence and host susceptibility, ecological and anthropogenic mechanisms contributing to emergence, and vaccine development for use in captive populations and species reintroduction programs.

  5. Prior infection does not improve survival against the amphibian disease Chytridiomycosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott D Cashins

    Full Text Available Many amphibians have declined globally due to introduction of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Hundreds of species, many in well-protected habitats, remain as small populations at risk of extinction. Currently the only proven conservation strategy is to maintain species in captivity to be reintroduced at a later date. However, methods to abate the disease in the wild are urgently needed so that reintroduced and wild animals can survive in the presence of Bd. Vaccination has been widely suggested as a potential strategy to improve survival. We used captive-bred offspring of critically endangered booroolong frogs (Litoria booroolongensis to test if vaccination in the form of prior infection improves survival following re exposure. We infected frogs with a local Bd isolate, cleared infection after 30 days (d using itraconazole just prior to the onset of clinical signs, and then re-exposed animals to Bd at 110 d. We found prior exposure had no effect on survival or infection intensities, clearly showing that real infections do not stimulate a protective adaptive immune response in this species. This result supports recent studies suggesting Bd may evade or suppress host immune functions. Our results suggest vaccination is unlikely to be useful in mitigating chytridiomycosis. However, survival of some individuals from all experimental groups indicates existence of protective innate immunity. Understanding and promoting this innate resistance holds potential for enabling species recovery.

  6. Amphibians with infectious disease increase their reproductive effort: evidence for the terminal investment hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brannelly, Laura A; Webb, Rebecca; Skerratt, Lee F; Berger, Lee

    2016-06-01

    Mounting an immune response to fight disease is costly for an organism and can reduce investment in another life-history trait, such as reproduction. The terminal investment hypothesis predicts that an organism will increase reproductive effort when threatened by disease. The reproductive fitness of amphibians infected with the deadly fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is largely unknown. In this study, we explored gametogenesis in two endangered and susceptible frog species, Pseudophryne corroboree and Litoria verreauxii alpina. Gametogenesis, both oogenesis and spermatogenesis, increased when animals were experimentally infected with Bd In P. corroboree, infected males have thicker germinal epithelium, and a larger proportion of spermatocytes. In L. v. alpina, infected males had more spermatic cell bundles in total, and a larger proportion of spermatozoa bundles. In female L. v. alpina, ovaries and oviducts were larger in infected animals, and there were more cells present within the ovaries. Terminal investment has consequences for the evolution of disease resistance in declining species. If infected animals are increasing reproductive efforts and producing more offspring before succumbing to disease, it is possible that population-level selection for disease resistance will be minimized. PMID:27358291

  7. Prior infection does not improve survival against the amphibian disease Chytridiomycosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cashins, Scott D; Grogan, Laura F; McFadden, Michael; Hunter, David; Harlow, Peter S; Berger, Lee; Skerratt, Lee F

    2013-01-01

    Many amphibians have declined globally due to introduction of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Hundreds of species, many in well-protected habitats, remain as small populations at risk of extinction. Currently the only proven conservation strategy is to maintain species in captivity to be reintroduced at a later date. However, methods to abate the disease in the wild are urgently needed so that reintroduced and wild animals can survive in the presence of Bd. Vaccination has been widely suggested as a potential strategy to improve survival. We used captive-bred offspring of critically endangered booroolong frogs (Litoria booroolongensis) to test if vaccination in the form of prior infection improves survival following re exposure. We infected frogs with a local Bd isolate, cleared infection after 30 days (d) using itraconazole just prior to the onset of clinical signs, and then re-exposed animals to Bd at 110 d. We found prior exposure had no effect on survival or infection intensities, clearly showing that real infections do not stimulate a protective adaptive immune response in this species. This result supports recent studies suggesting Bd may evade or suppress host immune functions. Our results suggest vaccination is unlikely to be useful in mitigating chytridiomycosis. However, survival of some individuals from all experimental groups indicates existence of protective innate immunity. Understanding and promoting this innate resistance holds potential for enabling species recovery. PMID:23451076

  8. CRN13 candidate effectors from plant and animal eukaryotic pathogens are DNA-binding proteins which trigger host DNA damage response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez-Garcés, Diana; Camborde, Laurent; Pel, Michiel J C; Jauneau, Alain; Martinez, Yves; Néant, Isabelle; Leclerc, Catherine; Moreau, Marc; Dumas, Bernard; Gaulin, Elodie

    2016-04-01

    To successfully colonize their host, pathogens produce effectors that can interfere with host cellular processes. Here we investigated the function of CRN13 candidate effectors produced by plant pathogenic oomycetes and detected in the genome of the amphibian pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (BdCRN13). When expressed in Nicotiana, AeCRN13, from the legume root pathogen Aphanomyces euteiches, increases the susceptibility of the leaves to the oomycete Phytophthora capsici. When transiently expressed in amphibians or plant cells, AeCRN13 and BdCRN13 localize to the cell nuclei, triggering aberrant cell development and eventually causing cell death. Using Förster resonance energy transfer experiments in plant cells, we showed that both CRN13s interact with nuclear DNA and trigger plant DNA damage response (DDR). Mutating key amino acid residues in a predicted HNH-like endonuclease motif abolished the interaction of AeCRN13 with DNA, the induction of DDR and the enhancement of Nicotiana susceptibility to P. capsici. Finally, H2AX phosphorylation, a marker of DNA damage, and enhanced expression of genes involved in the DDR were observed in A. euteiches-infected Medicago truncatula roots. These results show that CRN13 from plant and animal eukaryotic pathogens promotes host susceptibility by targeting nuclear DNA and inducing DDR. PMID:26700936

  9. The Effect of Human Impact on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence in Taricha torosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, V.; Macario, E.; Tumey, C.

    2014-12-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is emerging as a major cause of the amphibian extinction. As amphibians serve an important role as indicator species in their ecosystem and play a vital role in the food chain, Bd will not only affect the amphibian population but also the health of the environment. Bd is an aquatic fungus that blocks the porous skin of amphibians which interrupts electrolyte, gas and water transfer. This imbalances the electrolyte system which causes cells and organs to malfunction, therefore killing the amphibian. While frogs are more common for Bd, it is not often found in newts. However, Dr. Vance Vredenburg recently found an outbreak of Bd in Taricha torosa in Marin Headlands, California. This location was used in the research as the sample site with most human impact and was expected to have the highest prevalence according to the proposed hypothesis that more human impact will correspond with a higher prevalence of Bd. Decreasing the level of human impact, Fairfield Osborn Preserve and Galbreath Preserve were picked as the other sample sites. After the samples went through qPCR, all of them came back negative for Bd. These results did not support the hypothesis, however, it contributed data to explaining the dynamics of Bd when combined with Dr. Vance Vredenburg's data from 2 months earlier. Within the two months, there was a huge difference in the prevalence of Bd as it dropped from 88% to 0%. This shows that Taricha torosa does in fact get Bd. However, it is rarely detected because Bd is fast-acting and has high mortality rates. Therefore, it is least likely for current nonspecific surveys to swab the newts during a short but lethal Bd outbreak.

  10. DNA Extraction Method Affects the Detection of a Fungal Pathogen in Formalin-Fixed Specimens Using qPCR.

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    Andrea J Adams

    Full Text Available Museum collections provide indispensable repositories for obtaining information about the historical presence of disease in wildlife populations. The pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd has played a significant role in global amphibian declines, and examining preserved specimens for Bd can improve our understanding of its emergence and spread. Quantitative PCR (qPCR enables Bd detection with minimal disturbance to amphibian skin and is significantly more sensitive to detecting Bd than histology; therefore, developing effective qPCR methodologies for detecting Bd DNA in formalin-fixed specimens can provide an efficient and effective approach to examining historical Bd emergence and prevalence. Techniques for detecting Bd in museum specimens have not been evaluated for their effectiveness in control specimens that mimic the conditions of animals most likely to be encountered in museums, including those with low pathogen loads. We used American bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus of known infection status to evaluate the success of qPCR to detect Bd in formalin-fixed specimens after three years of ethanol storage. Our objectives were to compare the most commonly used DNA extraction method for Bd (PrepMan, PM to Macherey-Nagel DNA FFPE (MN, test optimizations for Bd detection with PM, and provide recommendations for maximizing Bd detection. We found that successful detection is relatively high (80-90% when Bd loads before formalin fixation are high, regardless of the extraction method used; however, at lower infection levels, detection probabilities were significantly reduced. The MN DNA extraction method increased Bd detection by as much as 50% at moderate infection levels. Our results indicate that, for animals characterized by lower pathogen loads (i.e., those most commonly encountered in museum collections, current methods may underestimate the proportion of Bd-infected amphibians. Those extracting DNA from

  11. DNA Extraction Method Affects the Detection of a Fungal Pathogen in Formalin-Fixed Specimens Using qPCR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Andrea J.; LaBonte, John P.; Ball, Morgan L.; Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L.; Toothman, Mary H.; Briggs, Cheryl J.

    2015-01-01

    Museum collections provide indispensable repositories for obtaining information about the historical presence of disease in wildlife populations. The pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has played a significant role in global amphibian declines, and examining preserved specimens for Bd can improve our understanding of its emergence and spread. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) enables Bd detection with minimal disturbance to amphibian skin and is significantly more sensitive to detecting Bd than histology; therefore, developing effective qPCR methodologies for detecting Bd DNA in formalin-fixed specimens can provide an efficient and effective approach to examining historical Bd emergence and prevalence. Techniques for detecting Bd in museum specimens have not been evaluated for their effectiveness in control specimens that mimic the conditions of animals most likely to be encountered in museums, including those with low pathogen loads. We used American bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) of known infection status to evaluate the success of qPCR to detect Bd in formalin-fixed specimens after three years of ethanol storage. Our objectives were to compare the most commonly used DNA extraction method for Bd (PrepMan, PM) to Macherey-Nagel DNA FFPE (MN), test optimizations for Bd detection with PM, and provide recommendations for maximizing Bd detection. We found that successful detection is relatively high (80–90%) when Bd loads before formalin fixation are high, regardless of the extraction method used; however, at lower infection levels, detection probabilities were significantly reduced. The MN DNA extraction method increased Bd detection by as much as 50% at moderate infection levels. Our results indicate that, for animals characterized by lower pathogen loads (i.e., those most commonly encountered in museum collections), current methods may underestimate the proportion of Bd-infected amphibians. Those extracting DNA from archived museum

  12. Do frogs get their kicks on Route 66? Continental U.S. transect reveals spatial and temporal patterns of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection.

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    Michael J Lannoo

    Full Text Available The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd has been devastating amphibians globally. Two general scenarios have been proposed for the nature and spread of this pathogen: Bd is an epidemic, spreading as a wave and wiping out individuals, populations, and species in its path; and Bd is endemic, widespread throughout many geographic regions on every continent except Antarctica. To explore these hypotheses, we conducted a transcontinental transect of United States Department of Defense (DoD installations along U.S. Highway 66 from California to central Illinois, and continuing eastward to the Atlantic Seaboard along U.S. Interstate 64 (in sum from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California to Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia. We addressed the following questions: 1 Does Bd occur in amphibian populations on protected DoD environments? 2 Is there a temporal pattern to the presence of Bd? 3 Is there a spatial pattern to the presence of Bd? and 4 In these limited human-traffic areas, is Bd acting as an epidemic (i.e., with evidence of recent introduction and/or die-offs due to chytridiomycosis, or as an endemic (present without clinical signs of disease? Bd was detected on 13 of the 15 bases sampled. Samples from 30 amphibian species were collected (10% of known United States' species; half (15 tested Bd positive. There was a strong temporal (seasonal component; in total, 78.5% of all positive samples came in the first (spring/early-summer sampling period. There was also a strong spatial component--the eleven temperate DoD installations had higher prevalences of Bd infection (20.8% than the four arid (<60 mm annual precipitation bases (8.5%. These data support the conclusion that Bd is now widespread, and promote the idea that Bd can today be considered endemic across much of North America, extending from coast-to-coast, with the exception of remote pockets of naïve populations.

  13. Endemicity of chytridiomycosis features pathogen overdispersion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grogan, Laura F; Phillott, Andrea D; Scheele, Benjamin C; Berger, Lee; Cashins, Scott D; Bell, Sara C; Puschendorf, Robert; Skerratt, Lee F

    2016-05-01

    Pathogens can be critical drivers of the abundance and distribution of wild animal populations. The presence of an overdispersed pathogen load distribution between hosts (where few hosts harbour heavy parasite burdens and light infections are common) can have an important stabilizing effect on host-pathogen dynamics where infection intensity determines pathogenicity. This may potentially lead to endemicity of an introduced pathogen rather than extirpation of the host and/or pathogen. Overdispersed pathogen load distributions have rarely been considered in wild animal populations as an important component of the infection dynamics of microparasites such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi. Here we examined the abundance, distribution and transmission of the model fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, cause of amphibian chytridiomycosis) between wild-caught Litoria rheocola (common mist frogs) to investigate the effects of an overdispersed pathogen load distribution on the host population in the wild. We quantified host survival, infection incidence and recovery probabilities relative to infectious burden, and compared the results of models where pathogen overdispersion either was or was not considered an important feature of host-pathogen dynamics. We found the distribution of Bd load between hosts to be highly overdispersed. We found that host survival was related to infection burden and that accounting for pathogen overdispersion allowed us to better understand infection dynamics and their implications for disease control. In addition, we found that the pattern of host infections and recoveries varied markedly with season whereby (i) infections established more in winter, consistent with temperature-dependent effects on fungal growth, and (ii) recoveries (loss of infection) occurred frequently in the field throughout the year but were less likely in winter. Our results suggest that pathogen overdispersion is an important feature of endemic

  14. Nothing a hot bath won't cure: infection rates of amphibian chytrid fungus correlate negatively with water temperature under natural field settings.

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    Matthew J Forrest

    Full Text Available Dramatic declines and extinctions of amphibian populations throughout the world have been associated with chytridiomycosis, an infectious disease caused by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Previous studies indicated that Bd prevalence correlates with cooler temperatures in the field, and laboratory experiments have demonstrated that Bd ceases growth at temperatures above 28°C. Here we investigate how small-scale variations in water temperature correlate with Bd prevalence in the wild. We sampled 221 amphibians, including 201 lowland leopard frogs (Rana [Lithobates] yavapaiensis, from 12 sites in Arizona, USA, and tested them for Bd. Amphibians were encountered in microhabitats that exhibited a wide range of water temperatures (10-50°C, including several geothermal water sources. There was a strong inverse correlation between the water temperature in which lowland leopard frogs were captured and Bd prevalence, even after taking into account the influence of year, season, and host size. In locations where Bd was known to be present, the prevalence of Bd infections dropped from 75-100% in water 30°C. A strong inverse correlation between Bd infection status and water temperature was also observed within sites. Our findings suggest that microhabitats where water temperatures exceed 30°C provide lowland leopard frogs with significant protection from Bd, which could have important implications for disease dynamics, as well as management applications.There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them--Sylvia Plath, "The Bell Jar" (1963.

  15. Direct and Indirect Effects of Climate Change on Amphibian Populations

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    Stephanie S. Gervasi

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available As part of an overall decline in biodiversity, populations of many organisms are declining and species are being lost at unprecedented rates around the world. This includes many populations and species of amphibians. Although numerous factors are affecting amphibian populations, we show potential direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibians at the individual, population and community level. Shifts in amphibian ranges are predicted. Changes in climate may affect survival, growth, reproduction and dispersal capabilities. Moreover, climate change can alter amphibian habitats including vegetation, soil, and hydrology. Climate change can influence food availability, predator-prey relationships and competitive interactions which can alter community structure. Climate change can also alter pathogen-host dynamics and greatly influence how diseases are manifested. Changes in climate can interact with other stressors such as UV-B radiation and contaminants. The interactions among all these factors are complex and are probably driving some amphibian population declines and extinctions.

  16. Examining the evidence for chytridiomycosis in threatened amphibian species.

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    Matthew Heard

    Full Text Available Extinction risks are increasing for amphibians due to rising threats and minimal conservation efforts. Nearly one quarter of all threatened/extinct amphibians in the IUCN Red List is purportedly at risk from the disease chytridiomycosis. However, a closer look at the data reveals that Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (the causal agent has been identified and confirmed to cause clinical disease in only 14% of these species. Primary literature surveys confirm these findings; ruling out major discrepancies between Red List assessments and real-time science. Despite widespread interest in chytridiomycosis, little progress has been made between assessment years to acquire evidence for the role of chytridiomycosis in species-specific amphibian declines. Instead, assessment teams invoke the precautionary principle when listing chytridiomycosis as a threat. Precaution is valuable when dealing with the world's most threatened taxa, however scientific research is needed to distinguish between real and predicted threats in order to better prioritize conservation efforts. Fast paced, cost effective, in situ research to confirm or rule out chytridiomycosis in species currently hypothesized to be threatened by the disease would be a step in the right direction. Ultimately, determining the manner in which amphibian conservation resources are utilized is a conversation for the greater conservation community that we hope to stimulate here.

  17. Hydrological Regimes, Pond Morphology, and Habitat Use: Predicting the Impact of an Emerging Aquatic Pathogen

    OpenAIRE

    Cheryl J Briggs

    2006-01-01

    Declines in amphibian populations have been reported throughout the world in recent years. Chytridiomycosis, a disease of amphibians caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is one of a number of factors that have been shown to contribute to these population declines. B. dendrobatidis is associated with rapid population declines and local extinctions of populations of mountain yellow-legged frog, Rana muscosa, in some areas of the California Sierra Nevada mountains, howev...

  18. Surviving Chytridiomycosis: Differential Anti-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Activity in Bacterial Isolates from Three Lowland Species of Atelopus

    OpenAIRE

    Flechas, Sandra V.; Sarmiento, Carolina; Martha E Cárdenas; Edgar M Medina; Restrepo, Silvia; Amézquita, Adolfo

    2012-01-01

    In the Neotropics, almost every species of the stream-dwelling harlequin toads (genus Atelopus) have experienced catastrophic declines. The persistence of lowland species of Atelopus could be explained by the lower growth rate of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) at temperatures above 25°C. We tested the complementary hypothesis that the toads' skin bacterial microbiota acts as a protective barrier against the pathogen, perhaps delaying or impeding the symptomatic phase of chytridiomycosis....

  19. Host-specific thermal profiles affect fitness of a widespread pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Lisa A; Roznik, Elizabeth A; Alford, Ross A; Pike, David A

    2014-11-01

    Host behavior can interact with environmental context to influence outcomes of pathogen exposure and the impact of disease on species and populations. Determining whether the thermal behaviors of individual species influence susceptibility to disease can help enhance our ability to explain and predict how and when disease outbreaks are likely to occur. The widespread disease chytridiomycosis (caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) often has species-specific impacts on amphibian communities; some host species are asymptomatic, whereas others experience mass mortalities and population extirpation. We determined whether the average natural thermal regimes experienced by sympatric frog species in nature, in and of themselves, can account for differences in vulnerability to disease. We did this by growing Bd under temperatures mimicking those experienced by frogs in the wild. At low and high elevations, the rainforest frogs Litoria nannotis, L. rheocola, and L. serrata maintained mean thermal regimes within the optimal range for pathogen growth (15-25°C). Thermal regimes for L. serrata, which has recovered from Bd-related declines, resulted in slower pathogen growth than the cooler and less variable thermal regimes for the other two species, which have experienced more long-lasting declines. For L. rheocola and L. serrata, pathogen growth was faster in thermal regimes corresponding to high elevations than in those corresponding to low elevations, where temperatures were warmer. For L. nannotis, which prefers moist and thermally stable microenvironments, pathogen growth was fastest for low-elevation thermal regimes. All of the thermal regimes we tested resulted in pathogen growth rates equivalent to, or significantly faster than, rates expected from constant-temperature experiments. The effects of host body temperature on Bd can explain many of the broad ecological patterns of population declines in our focal species, via direct effects on

  20. Climate change and amphibians

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    Corn, P. S.

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Amphibian life histories are exceedingly sensitive to temperature and precipitation, and there is good evidence that recent climate change has already resulted in a shift to breeding earlier in the year for some species. There are also suggestions that the recent increase in the occurrence of El Niño events has caused declines of anurans in Central America and is linked to elevated mortality of amphibian embryos in the northwestern United States. However, evidence linking amphibian declines in Central America to climate relies solely on correlations, and the mechanisms underlying the declines are not understood. Connections between embryo mortality and declines in abundance have not been demonstrated. Analyses of existing data have generally failed to find a link between climate and amphibian declines. It is likely, however, that future climate change will cause further declines of some amphibian species. Reduced soil moisture could reduce prey species and eliminate habitat. Reduced snowfall and increased summer evaporation could have dramatic effects on the duration or occurrence of seasonal wetlands, which are primary habitat for many species of amphibians. Climate change may be a relatively minor cause of current amphibian declines, but it may be the biggest future challenge to the persistence of many species

  1. Long-term endemism of two highly divergent lineages of the amphibian-killing fungus in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, D; Becker, C G; Pupin, N C; Haddad, C F B; Zamudio, K R

    2014-02-01

    The recent global spread of the amphibian-killing fungus [Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd)] has been closely tied to anthropogenic activities; however, regional patterns of spread are not completely understood. Using historical samples, we can test whether Bd was a spreading or endemic pathogen in a region within a particular time frame, because those two disease states provide different predictions for the regional demographic dynamics and population genetics of Bd. Testing historical patterns of pathogen prevalence and population genetics under these predictions is key to understanding the evolution and origin of Bd. Focusing on the Atlantic Forest (AF) of Brazil, we used qPCR assays to determine the presence or absence of Bd on 2799 preserved postmetamorphic anurans collected between 1894 and 2010 and used semi-nested PCRs to determine the frequency of rRNA ITS1 haplotypes from 52 samples. Our earliest date of detection was 1894. A mean prevalence of 23.9% over time and spatiotemporal patterns of Bd clusters indicate that Bd has been enzootic in the Brazilian AF with no evidence of regional spread within the last 116 years. ITS1 haplotypes confirm the long-term presence of two divergent strains of Bd (BdGPL and Bd-Brazil) and three spatiotemporally broad genetic demes within BdGPL, indicating that Bd was not introduced into southeast Brazil by the bullfrog trade. Our data show that the evolutionary history and pathogen dynamics of Bd in Brazil is better explained by the endemic pathogen hypothesis. PMID:24471406

  2. Trypan blue dye is an effective and inexpensive way to determine the viability of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis zoospores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Taegan A; Rohr, Jason R

    2014-06-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been implicated in hundreds of amphibian declines and is the focus of a vast amount of research. Despite this, there is no reported efficient way to assess Bd viability. Discriminating between live and dead Bd would help determine the dose of live Bd zoospores and whether factors have lethal or sublethal effects on Bd. We tested whether trypan blue, a common stain to discriminate live and dead cells, could be used to assess Bd viability. We show that the proportion of live zoospores (zoospores that excluded the trypan blue dye) matched the proportion of known live zoospores added to cultures. In contrast, all of the zoosporangia stages of Bd stained blue. These results demonstrate that trypan blue can be used to determine the viability of Bd zoospores but not zoosporangia. We recommend using trypan blue to report the number of live zoospores to which hosts are exposed. PMID:24519684

  3. The development of a spatially-explicit, individual-based, disease model for frogs and the chytrid fungus

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    Background / Question / Methods The fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (BD), has been associated with amphibian population declines and even extinctions worldwide. Transmission of the fungus between amphibian hosts occurs via motile zoospores, which are produced on...

  4. Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in Madagascar neither Shows Widespread Presence nor Signs of Certain Establishment.

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    Jonathan E Kolby

    Full Text Available The global spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd is associated with amphibian mass mortality, population decline, and extinction. Over the past decade, concern has been expressed for the potential introduction of Bd to Madagascar, a global hotspot of amphibian biodiversity. Following years without detection, widespread Bd presence in Madagascar has now been reported (Bletz et al. 2015a, raising international conservation concern. Before reacting to this finding with a significant management response, the accuracy and context of the data warrant cautious review. Re-examination of a 10-year dataset together with results from more recent surveillance (Kolby et al. 2015 does not yet demonstrate widespread Bd presence. Detection of Bd at "positive" locations in Madagascar has been inconsistent for unknown reasons. Whether Bd is established in Madagascar (i.e. populations are self-sustaining or instead requires continued introduction to persist also remains uncertain. The deployment of emergency conservation rescue initiatives is expected to target areas where the distribution of Bd and the risk of chytridiomycosis endangering amphibians is believed to overlap. Thus, erroneous description of Bd presence would misdirect limited conservation resources. Standardized surveillance and confirmatory surveys are now imperative to reliably characterize the distribution, potential spread, virulence and overall risk of Bd to amphibians in Madagascar.

  5. Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in Madagascar neither Shows Widespread Presence nor Signs of Certain Establishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Skerratt, Lee F

    2015-01-01

    The global spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) is associated with amphibian mass mortality, population decline, and extinction. Over the past decade, concern has been expressed for the potential introduction of Bd to Madagascar, a global hotspot of amphibian biodiversity. Following years without detection, widespread Bd presence in Madagascar has now been reported (Bletz et al. 2015a), raising international conservation concern. Before reacting to this finding with a significant management response, the accuracy and context of the data warrant cautious review. Re-examination of a 10-year dataset together with results from more recent surveillance (Kolby et al. 2015) does not yet demonstrate widespread Bd presence. Detection of Bd at "positive" locations in Madagascar has been inconsistent for unknown reasons. Whether Bd is established in Madagascar (i.e. populations are self-sustaining) or instead requires continued introduction to persist also remains uncertain. The deployment of emergency conservation rescue initiatives is expected to target areas where the distribution of Bd and the risk of chytridiomycosis endangering amphibians is believed to overlap. Thus, erroneous description of Bd presence would misdirect limited conservation resources. Standardized surveillance and confirmatory surveys are now imperative to reliably characterize the distribution, potential spread, virulence and overall risk of Bd to amphibians in Madagascar. PMID:26465924

  6. Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread, and amphibian declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R; Romansic, John M; McCallum, Hamish; Hudson, Peter J

    2008-11-11

    Human alteration of the environment has arguably propelled the Earth into its sixth mass extinction event and amphibians, the most threatened of all vertebrate taxa, are at the forefront. Many of the worldwide amphibian declines have been caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and two contrasting hypotheses have been proposed to explain these declines. Positive correlations between global warming and Bd-related declines sparked the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis, which proposes that global warming increased cloud cover in warm years that drove the convergence of daytime and nighttime temperatures toward the thermal optimum for Bd growth. In contrast, the spatiotemporal-spread hypothesis states that Bd-related declines are caused by the introduction and spread of Bd, independent of climate change. We provide a rigorous test of these hypotheses by evaluating (i) whether cloud cover, temperature convergence, and predicted temperature-dependent Bd growth are significant positive predictors of amphibian extinctions in the genus Atelopus and (ii) whether spatial structure in the timing of these extinctions can be detected without making assumptions about the location, timing, or number of Bd emergences. We show that there is spatial structure to the timing of Atelopus spp. extinctions but that the cause of this structure remains equivocal, emphasizing the need for further molecular characterization of Bd. We also show that the reported positive multi-decade correlation between Atelopus spp. extinctions and mean tropical air temperature in the previous year is indeed robust, but the evidence that it is causal is weak because numerous other variables, including regional banana and beer production, were better predictors of these extinctions. Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis. Although climate change is likely to play an important role in worldwide amphibian declines

  7. The cause of global amphibian declines: a developmental endocrinologist's perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, T B; Falso, P; Gallipeau, S; Stice, M

    2010-03-15

    Greater than 70% of the world's amphibian species are in decline. We propose that there is probably not a single cause for global amphibian declines and present a three-tiered hierarchical approach that addresses interactions among and between ultimate and proximate factors that contribute to amphibian declines. There are two immediate (proximate) causes of amphibian declines: death and decreased recruitment (reproductive failure). Although much attention has focused on death, few studies have addressed factors that contribute to declines as a result of failed recruitment. Further, a great deal of attention has focused on the role of pathogens in inducing diseases that cause death, but we suggest that pathogen success is profoundly affected by four other ultimate factors: atmospheric change, environmental pollutants, habitat modification and invasive species. Environmental pollutants arise as likely important factors in amphibian declines because they have realized potential to affect recruitment. Further, many studies have documented immunosuppressive effects of pesticides, suggesting a role for environmental contaminants in increased pathogen virulence and disease rates. Increased attention to recruitment and ultimate factors that interact with pathogens is important in addressing this global crisis. PMID:20190117

  8. Over-wintering tadpoles of Mixophyes fasciolatus act as reservoir host for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

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    Edward J Narayan

    Full Text Available Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, a cutaneous amphibian fungus that causes the lethal disease chytridiomycosis, has been implicated as a cause of many amphibian declines. Bd can tolerate low temperatures with an optimum thermal range from 17-24°C. It has been shown that Bd infection may result in species extinction, avoiding the transmission threshold presented by density dependent transmission theory. Prevalence of Bd during autumn and winter has been shown to be as low as 0% in some species. It is currently unclear how Bd persists in field conditions and what processes result in carry-over between seasons. It has been hypothesised that overwintering tadpoles may host Bd between breeding seasons. The Great Barred Frog (Mixophyes fasciolatus is a common, stable and widespread species in Queensland, Australia, and is known to carry Bd. Investigation into Bd infection of different life stages of M. fasciolatus during seasonally low prevalence may potentially reveal persistence and carry-over methods between seasons. Metamorphs, juveniles, and adults were swabbed for Bd infection over three months (between March and May, 2011 at 5 sites of varying altitude (66 m-790 m. A total of 93 swabs were analysed using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR real-time analysis. PCR analysis showed 6 positive (1 excluded, 4 equivocal and 83 negative results for infection with Bd. Equivocal results were assumed to be negative using the precautionary principle. The 5 positive results consisted of 4 emerging (Gosner stage 43-45 metamorphs and 1 adult M. fasciolatus. Fisher's exact test on prevalence showed that the prevalence was significantly different between life stages. All positive results were sampled at high altitudes (790 m; however prevalence was not significantly different between altitudes. Infection of emerging metamorphs suggests that individuals were infected as tadpoles. We hypothesise that M. fasciolatus tadpoles carry Bd through seasons. Thus

  9. Prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Eastern Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) Populations in West Virginia, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seeley, Kathryn E; D'Angelo, Melanie; Gowins, Caitlin; Greathouse, Joe

    2016-04-28

    The eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) is a North American salamander species in decline throughout its range. Efforts to identify the causes of decline have included surveillance for the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has been associated with global amphibian population losses. We evaluated the prevalence of Bd in 42 hellbenders at four sites in West Virginia, US, from June to September 2013, using standard swab protocols and real-time PCR. Overall prevalence of Bd was 52% (22/42; 37.7-66.6%; 95% confidence interval). Prevalence was highest in individuals with body weight ≥695 g (χ(2)=7.2487, df=1, P=0.007), and was higher in montane sampling sites than lowland sites (t=-2.4599, df=44, P=0.02). While increased prevalence in montane sampling sites was expected, increased prevalence in larger hellbenders was unexpected and hypothesized to be associated with greater surface area for infection or prolonged periods of exposure in older, larger hellbenders. Wild hellbenders have not been reported to display clinical disease associated with Bd; however, prevalence in the population is important information for evaluating reservoir status and risk to other species, and as a baseline for investigation in the face of an outbreak of clinical disease. PMID:27124331

  10. Chromosomal copy number variation, selection and uneven rates of recombination reveal cryptic genome diversity linked to pathogenicity.

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    Rhys A Farrer

    Full Text Available Pathogenic fungi constitute a growing threat to both plant and animal species on a global scale. Despite a clonal mode of reproduction dominating the population genetic structure of many fungi, putatively asexual species are known to adapt rapidly when confronted by efforts to control their growth and transmission. However, the mechanisms by which adaptive diversity is generated across a clonal background are often poorly understood. We sequenced a global panel of the emergent amphibian pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, to high depth and characterized rapidly changing features of its genome that we believe hold the key to the worldwide success of this organism. Our analyses show three processes that contribute to the generation of de novo diversity. Firstly, we show that the majority of wild isolates manifest chromosomal copy number variation that changes over short timescales. Secondly, we show that cryptic recombination occurs within all lineages of Bd, leading to large regions of the genome being in linkage equilibrium, and is preferentially associated with classes of genes of known importance for virulence in other pathosystems. Finally, we show that these classes of genes are under directional selection, and that this has predominantly targeted the Global Panzootic Lineage (BdGPL. Our analyses show that Bd manifests an unusually dynamic genome that may have been shaped by its association with the amphibian host. The rates of variation that we document likely explain the high levels of phenotypic variability that have been reported for Bd, and suggests that the dynamic genome of this pathogen has contributed to its success across multiple biomes and host-species.

  11. Rainforest: Reptiles and Amphibians

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    Olson, Susanna

    2006-01-01

    Rainforest reptiles and amphibians are a vibrantly colored, multimedia art experience. To complete the entire project one may need to dedicate many class periods to production, yet in each aspect of the project a new and important skill, concept, or element is being taught or reinforced. This project incorporates the study of warm and cool color…

  12. Cell Density Effects of Frog Skin Bacteria on Their Capacity to Inhibit Growth of the Chytrid Fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasumiba, Kiyomi; Bell, Sara; Alford, Ross

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial symbionts on frog skin can reduce the growth of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) through production of inhibitory metabolites. Bacteria can be effective at increasing the resistance of amphibians to chytridiomycosis when added to amphibian skin, and isolates can be screened for production of metabolites that inhibit Bd growth in vitro. However, some bacteria use density-dependent mechanism such as quorum sensing to regulate metabolite production. It is therefore important to consider cell density effects when evaluating bacteria as possible candidates for bioaugmentation. The aim of our study was to evaluate how the density of cutaneous bacteria affects their inhibition of Bd growth in vitro. We sampled cutaneous bacteria isolated from three frog species in the tropical rainforests of northern Queensland, Australia, and selected ten isolates that were inhibitory to Bd in standardised pilot trials. We grew each isolate in liquid culture at a range of initial dilutions, sub-sampled each dilution at a series of times during the first 48 h of growth and measured spectrophotometric absorbance values, cell counts and Bd-inhibitory activity of cell-free supernatants at each time point. The challenge assay results clearly demonstrated that the inhibitory effects of most isolates were density dependent, with relatively low variation among isolates in the minimum cell density needed to inhibit Bd growth. We suggest the use of minimum cell densities and fast-growing candidate isolates to maximise bioaugmentation efforts. PMID:26563320

  13. Expansion of amphibian intronless interferons revises the paradigm for interferon evolution and functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sang, Yongming; Liu, Qinfang; Lee, Jinhwa; Ma, Wenjun; McVey, D Scott; Blecha, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Interferons (IFNs) are key cytokines identified in vertebrates and evolutionary dominance of intronless IFN genes in amniotes is a signature event in IFN evolution. For the first time, we show that the emergence and expansion of intronless IFN genes is evident in amphibians, shown by 24-37 intronless IFN genes in each frog species. Amphibian IFNs represent a molecular complex more complicated than those in other vertebrate species, which revises the established model of IFN evolution to facilitate re-inspection of IFN molecular and functional diversity. We identified these intronless amphibian IFNs and their intron-containing progenitors, and functionally characterized constitutive and inductive expression and antimicrobial roles in infections caused by zoonotic pathogens, such as influenza viruses and Listeria monocytogenes. Amphibians, therefore, may serve as overlooked vectors/hosts for zoonotic pathogens, and the amphibian IFN system provides a model to study IFN evolution in molecular and functional diversity in coping with dramatic environmental changes during terrestrial adaption. PMID:27356970

  14. Widespread amphibian extinctions from epidemic disease driven by global warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pounds, J Alan; Bustamante, Martín R; Coloma, Luis A; Consuegra, Jamie A; Fogden, Michael P L; Foster, Pru N; La Marca, Enrique; Masters, Karen L; Merino-Viteri, Andrés; Puschendorf, Robert; Ron, Santiago R; Sánchez-Azofeifa, G Arturo; Still, Christopher J; Young, Bruce E

    2006-01-12

    As the Earth warms, many species are likely to disappear, often because of changing disease dynamics. Here we show that a recent mass extinction associated with pathogen outbreaks is tied to global warming. Seventeen years ago, in the mountains of Costa Rica, the Monteverde harlequin frog (Atelopus sp.) vanished along with the golden toad (Bufo periglenes). An estimated 67% of the 110 or so species of Atelopus, which are endemic to the American tropics, have met the same fate, and a pathogenic chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) is implicated. Analysing the timing of losses in relation to changes in sea surface and air temperatures, we conclude with 'very high confidence' (> 99%, following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC) that large-scale warming is a key factor in the disappearances. We propose that temperatures at many highland localities are shifting towards the growth optimum of Batrachochytrium, thus encouraging outbreaks. With climate change promoting infectious disease and eroding biodiversity, the urgency of reducing greenhouse-gas concentrations is now undeniable. PMID:16407945

  15. Amphibians of Peninsular India

    OpenAIRE

    Gururaja, KV

    2005-01-01

    Frogs and toads have always fascinated man through the ages, dating back to Mandukya Upanishad of the Vedic ages to the cent discoveries in the Western Ghats. More technically known as ‘amphibians’ (Greek equivalent for their biphasic life stages as tadpoles and adults), these include caecilians, salamanders, newts, and sirens. Amphibians are in serious scientific contention over the last decade for at least two main reasons. One being far more crucial, pertaining to their viable existence as...

  16. Reduced immune function predicts disease susceptibility in frogs infected with a deadly fungal pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Anna E; Terrell, Kimberly A; Gratwicke, Brian; Mattheus, Nichole M; Augustine, Lauren; Fleischer, Robert C

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between amphibian immune function and disease susceptibility is of primary concern given current worldwide declines linked to the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). We experimentally infected lowland leopard frogs (Lithobates yavapaiensis) with Bd to test the hypothesis that infection causes physiological stress and stimulates humoral and cell-mediated immune function in the blood. We measured body mass, the ratio of circulating neutrophils to lymphocytes (a known indicator of physiological stress) and plasma bacterial killing ability (BKA; a measure of innate immune function). In early exposure (1-15 days post-infection), stress was elevated in Bd-positive vs. Bd-negative frogs, whereas other metrics were similar between the groups. At later stages (29-55 days post-infection), stress was increased in Bd-positive frogs with signs of chytridiomycosis compared with both Bd-positive frogs without disease signs and uninfected control frogs, which were similar to each other. Infection decreased growth during the same period, demonstrating that sustained resistance to Bd is energetically costly. Importantly, BKA was lower in Bd-positive frogs with disease than in those without signs of chytridiomycosis. However, neither group differed from Bd-negative control frogs. The low BKA values in dying frogs compared with infected individuals without disease signs suggests that complement activity might signify different immunogenetic backgrounds or gene-by-environment interactions between the host, Bd and abiotic factors. We conclude that protein complement activity might be a useful predictor of Bd susceptibility and might help to explain differential disease outcomes in natural amphibian populations. PMID:27293759

  17. Global Amphibian Extinction Risk Assessment for the Panzootic Chytrid Fungus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew C. Fisher

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Species are being lost at increasing rates due to anthropogenic effects, leading to the recognition that we are witnessing the onset of a sixth mass extinction. Emerging infectious disease has been shown to increase species loss and any attempts to reduce extinction rates need to squarely confront this challenge. Here, we develop a procedure for identifying amphibian species that are most at risk from the effects of chytridiomycosis by combining spatial analyses of key host life-history variables with the pathogen's predicted distribution. We apply our rule set to the known global diversity of amphibians in order to prioritize pecies that are most at risk of loss from disease emergence. This risk assessment shows where limited conservation funds are best deployed in order to prevent further loss of species by enabling ex situ amphibian salvage operations and focusing any potential disease mitigation projects.

  18. The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-living frogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selene Dall'Acqua Coutinho

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The sample collection area was a protected government park, with no general entrance permitted and no management of the animals there. Swabs were taken from the skin of 107 animals without macroscopic lesions and they were maintained in ethanol p.a. Fungal DNA was extracted and identification of B. dendrobatidis was performed using singleplex and nested-PCR techniques, employing specific primers sequences. B. dendrobatidis was detected in 61/107 (57% and 18/107 (17% animals, respectively by nested and singleplex-PCR. Nested-PCR was statistically more sensible than the conventional for the detection of B. dendrobatidis (Chi-square = 37.1; α = 1% and the agreement between both techniques was considered just fair (Kappa = 0.27. The high prevalence obtained confirms that these fungi occur in free-living frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest with no macroscopic lesions, characterizing the state of asymptomatic carrier. We concluded that the nested-PCR technique, due to its ease of execution and reproducibility, can be recommended as one of the alternatives in epidemiological surveys to detect B. dendrobatidis in healthy free-living frog populations.

  19. The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-living frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutinho, Selene Dall'Acqua; Burke, Julieta Catarina; de Paula, Catia Dejuste; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2015-06-01

    Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The sample collection area was a protected government park, with no general entrance permitted and no management of the animals there. Swabs were taken from the skin of 107 animals without macroscopic lesions and they were maintained in ethanol p.a. Fungal DNA was extracted and identification of B. dendrobatidis was performed using singleplex and nested-PCR techniques, employing specific primers sequences. B. dendrobatidis was detected in 61/107 (57%) and 18/107 (17%) animals, respectively by nested and singleplex-PCR. Nested-PCR was statistically more sensible than the conventional for the detection of B. dendrobatidis (Chi-square = 37.1; α = 1%) and the agreement between both techniques was considered just fair (Kappa = 0.27). The high prevalence obtained confirms that these fungi occur in free-living frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest with no macroscopic lesions, characterizing the state of asymptomatic carrier. We concluded that the nested-PCR technique, due to its ease of execution and reproducibility, can be recommended as one of the alternatives in epidemiological surveys to detect B. dendrobatidis in healthy free-living frog populations. PMID:26273273

  20. First record of Saprolegnia sp. in an amphibian population in Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Daniel Prada-Salcedo

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Most research related to the decline of amphibians has been focused on the detection of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytriumdendrobatidis. This fungus is the main pathogen detected around the world. However, research has shown the presence of another fungus,Saprolegnia ferax, as a cause of mortality in amphibians in North America. Our study suggests a possible interspecific transmissioncaused by the presence of rainbow trout; thus, amphibian declines may not be attributable only to the presence of a single pathogen, butto other organisms and factors. Materials and methods. Our study revealed the presence of Saprolegnia sp. in the Andean frog Atelopusmittermeieri using the imprinting technique with lactophenol blue staining, which allowed the typical structures of this fungus to beobserved. Results. The importance of this discovery is the presence of two pathogenic fungi, B. dendrobatidis and Saprolegnia, whichaffecting simultaneously a population of amphibians. This finding brings attention to the eventual presence of other microorganismsthat might be involved individually or collectively in the decline of amphibian species. Conclusions. This record suggests a possibletransmission between rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, an introduced species in the highlands of Colombia, which shares thesame habitats with different species of amphibians in the Sanctuary of Flora and Fauna Guanentá in the upper river Fonce in the midCordillera Oriental of Colombia.

  1. West Africa - a safe haven for frogs? A sub-continental assessment of the chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Penner

    Full Text Available A putative driver of global amphibian decline is the panzootic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. While Bd has been documented across continental Africa, its distribution in West Africa remains ambiguous. We tested 793 West African amphibians (one caecilian and 61 anuran species for the presence of Bd. The samples originated from seven West African countries - Bénin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone - and were collected from a variety of habitats, ranging from lowland rainforests to montane forests, montane grasslands to humid and dry lowland savannahs. The species investigated comprised various life-history strategies, but we focused particularly on aquatic and riparian species. We used diagnostic PCR to screen 656 specimen swabs and histology to analyse 137 specimen toe tips. All samples tested negative for Bd, including a widespread habitat generalist Hoplobatrachus occipitalis which is intensively traded on the West African food market and thus could be a potential dispersal agent for Bd. Continental fine-grained (30 arc seconds environmental niche models suggest that Bd should have a broad distribution across West Africa that includes most of the regions and habitats that we surveyed. The surprising apparent absence of Bd in West Africa indicates that the Dahomey Gap may have acted as a natural barrier. Herein we highlight the importance of this Bd-free region of the African continent - especially for the long-term conservation of several threatened species depending on fast flowing forest streams (Conraua alleni ("Vulnerable" and Petropedetes natator ("Near Threatened" as well as the "Critically Endangered" viviparous toad endemic to the montane grasslands of Mount Nimba (Nimbaphrynoides occidentalis.

  2. CITIZEN SCIENTISTS MONITOR A DEADLY FUNGUS THREATENING AMPHIBIAN COMMUNITIES IN NORTHERN COASTAL CALIFORNIA, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Group, Ecoclub Amphibian; Pope, Karen L; Wengert, Greta M; Foley, Janet E; Ashton, Donald T; Botzler, Richard G

    2016-07-01

    Ecoclub youth and supervising family members conducted citizen science to assess regional prevalence and distribution of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) among amphibians at Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) and Redwood National and State Parks (Parks), Humboldt County, California, US, May 2013 through December 2014. Using quantitative real-time PCR, 26 (17%) of 155 samples were positive for Bd. Positive samples occurred in four frog and toad species: foothill yellow-legged frog ( Rana boylii ), northern red-legged frog ( Rana aurora ), Pacific chorus frog ( Pseudacris regilla ), and western toad (Anaxyrus [Bufo] boreas); no salamanders or anuran larvae were positive. Except for R. aurora , all infected anurans were first-time species reports for coastal northern California. At the Refuge, significantly fewer (6/71) postmetamorphic amphibians were positive compared to the Parks (20/69; P=0.0018). We assessed the association of being PCR-positive for Bd, season of sampling, and age of sampler (child, teen, or adult). The full model with season, species, and sampler age had the greatest support. Frogs tested in winter or spring were more likely to be positive than those tested in summer or fall; foothill yellow-legged frogs, northern red-legged frogs, and western toads were more likely to be positive than were Pacific chorus frogs; and the probability of being positive nearly doubled when a child (≤12 yr old) collected the sample compared to a teen or adult. Our results support other chytrid studies that found amphibians are more susceptible to Bd when temperatures are cool and that species differ in their susceptibility. The Ecoclub's findings provide new information important to conservation of northern California's coastal amphibians and demonstrate the value of involving children in citizen science. PMID:27195681

  3. The amphibian skin-associated microbiome across species, space and life history stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kueneman, Jordan G; Parfrey, Laura Wegener; Woodhams, Douglas C; Archer, Holly M; Knight, Rob; McKenzie, Valerie J

    2014-03-01

    Skin-associated bacteria of amphibians are increasingly recognized for their role in defence against pathogens, yet we have little understanding of their basic ecology. Here, we use high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing to examine the host and environmental influences on the skin microbiota of the cohabiting amphibian species Anaxyrus boreas, Pseudacris regilla, Taricha torosa and Lithobates catesbeianus from the Central Valley in California. We also studied populations of Rana cascadae over a large geographic range in the Klamath Mountain range of Northern California, and across developmental stages within a single site. Dominant bacterial phylotypes on amphibian skin included taxa from Bacteroidetes, Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Firmicutes, Sphingobacteria and Actinobacteria. Amphibian species identity was the strongest predictor of microbial community composition. Secondarily, within a given amphibian species, wetland site explained significant variation. Amphibian-associated microbiota differed systematically from microbial assemblages in their environments. Rana cascadae tadpoles have skin bacterial communities distinct from postmetamorphic conspecifics, indicating a strong developmental shift in the skin microbes following metamorphosis. Establishing patterns observed in the skin microbiota of wild amphibians and environmental factors that underlie them is necessary to understand skin symbiont community assembly, and ultimately, the role skin microbiota play in the extended host phenotype including disease resistance. PMID:24171949

  4. Louisiana ESI: REPTILES (Reptile and Amphibian Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for reptiles and amphibians in coastal Louisiana. Vector polygons represent reptile and amphibian...

  5. A non-lethal technique for detecting the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on tadpoles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Retallick, Richard W R; Miera, Verma; Richards, Kathryn L; Field, Kimberleigh J; Collins, James P

    2006-09-14

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) infection on post-metamorphic frogs and salamanders is commonly diagnosed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of skin scrapings taken with mildly abrasive swabs. The technique is sensitive, non-lethal, and repeatable for live animals. Tadpoles are generally not sampled by swabbing but are usually killed and their mouthparts excised to test for the pathogen. We evaluated a technique for non-lethal Bd diagnosis using quantitative PCR (qPCR) on swabs scraped over the mouthparts of live tadpoles. The sensitivity of non-lethal (swabbing) and lethal (removal of mouthparts) sampling was assessed using 150 Bd-infected Rana subaquavocalis tadpoles. Swabbing was consistently less sensitive than lethal sampling, but still detected Bd. Experimental Bd prevalence was 41.1% when estimated by destructively sampling mouthparts and 4.7 to 36.6% (mean = 21.4%) when estimated with swabs. Detection rates from swabbing varied with investigator and time since infection. The likelihood of detecting Bd-infected tadpoles was similar regardless of size and developmental stage. Swabbing mouthparts of live tadpoles is a feasible and effective survey technique for Bd, but, because it is less sensitive, more tadpoles must be sampled to estimate prevalence at a confidence level comparable to destructive sampling. PMID:17067076

  6. Agricultural ponds support amphibian populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutson, M.G.; Richardson, W.B.; Reineke, D.M.; Gray, B.R.; Parmelee, J.R.; Weick, S.E.

    2004-01-01

    In some agricultural regions, natural wetlands are scarce, and constructed agricultural ponds may represent important alternative breeding habitats for amphibians. Properly managed, these agricultural ponds may effectively increase the total amount of breeding habitat and help to sustain populations. We studied small, constructed agricultural ponds in southeastern Minnesota to assess their value as amphibian breeding sites. Our study examined habitat factors associated with amphibian reproduction at two spatial scales: the pond and the landscape surrounding the pond. We found that small agricultural ponds in southeastern Minnesota provided breeding habitat for at least 10 species of amphibians. Species richness and multispecies reproductive success were more closely associated with characteristics of the pond (water quality, vegetation, and predators) compared with characteristics of the surrounding landscape, but individual species were associated with both pond and landscape variables. Ponds surrounded by row crops had similar species richness and reproductive success compared with natural wetlands and ponds surrounded by nongrazed pasture. Ponds used for watering livestock had elevated concentrations of phosphorus, higher turbidity, and a trend toward reduced amphibian reproductive success. Species richness was highest in small ponds, ponds with lower total nitrogen concentrations, tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) present, and lacking fish. Multispecies reproductive success was best in ponds with lower total nitrogen concentrations, less emergent vegetation, and lacking fish. Habitat factors associated with higher reproductive success varied among individual species. We conclude that small, constructed farm ponds, properly managed, may help sustain amphibian populations in landscapes where natural wetland habitat is rare. We recommend management actions such as limiting livestock access to the pond to improve water quality, reducing nitrogen input, and

  7. Cool temperatures reduce antifungal activity of symbiotic bacteria of threatened amphibians--implications for disease management and patterns of decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daskin, Joshua H; Bell, Sara C; Schwarzkopf, Lin; Alford, Ross A

    2014-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a widespread disease of amphibians responsible for population declines and extinctions. Some bacteria from amphibians' skins produce antimicrobial substances active against Bd. Supplementing populations of these cutaneous antifungal bacteria might help manage chytridiomycosis in wild amphibians. However, the activity of protective bacteria may depend upon environmental conditions. Biocontrol of Bd in nature thus requires knowledge of how environmental conditions affect their anti-Bd activity. For example, Bd-driven amphibian declines have often occurred at temperatures below Bd's optimum range. It is possible these declines occurred due to reduced anti-Bd activity of bacterial symbionts at cool temperatures. Better understanding of the effects of temperature on chytridiomycosis development could also improve risk evaluation for amphibian populations yet to encounter Bd. We characterized, at a range of temperatures approximating natural seasonal variation, the anti-Bd activity of bacterial symbionts from the skins of three species of rainforest tree frogs (Litoria nannotis, Litoria rheocola, and Litoria serrata). All three species declined during chytridiomycosis outbreaks in the late 1980s and early 1990s and have subsequently recovered to differing extents. We collected anti-Bd bacterial symbionts from frogs and cultured the bacteria at constant temperatures from 8 °C to 33 °C. Using a spectrophotometric assay, we monitored Bd growth in cell-free supernatants (CFSs) from each temperature treatment. CFSs from 11 of 24 bacteria showed reduced anti-Bd activity in vitro when they were produced at cool temperatures similar to those encountered by the host species during population declines. Reduced anti-Bd activity of metabolites produced at low temperatures may, therefore, partially explain the association between Bd-driven declines and cool temperatures. We show that to avoid

  8. Potential interactions among disease, pesticides, water quality and adjacent land cover in amphibian habitats in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglin, W A; Smalling, K L; Anderson, C; Calhoun, D; Chestnut, T; Muths, E

    2016-10-01

    To investigate interactions among disease, pesticides, water quality, and adjacent land cover, we collected samples of water, sediment, and frog tissue from 21 sites in 7 States in the United States (US) representing a variety of amphibian habitats. All samples were analyzed for >90 pesticides and pesticide degradates, and water and frogs were screened for the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) using molecular methods. Pesticides and pesticide degradates were detected frequently in frog breeding habitats (water and sediment) as well as in frog tissue. Fungicides occurred more frequently in water, sediment, and tissue than was expected based upon their limited use relative to herbicides or insecticides. Pesticide occurrence in water or sediment was not a strong predictor of occurrence in tissue, but pesticide concentrations in tissue were correlated positively to agricultural and urban land, and negatively to forested land in 2-km buffers around the sites. Bd was detected in water at 45% of sites, and on 34% of swabbed frogs. Bd detections in water were not associated with differences in land use around sites, but sites with detections had colder water. Frogs that tested positive for Bd were associated with sites that had higher total fungicide concentrations in water and sediment, but lower insecticide concentrations in sediments relative to frogs that were Bd negative. Bd concentrations on frog swabs were positively correlated to dissolved organic carbon, and total nitrogen and phosphorus, and negatively correlated to pH and water temperature. Data were collected from a range of locations and amphibian habitats and represent some of the first field-collected information aimed at understanding the interactions between pesticides, land use, and amphibian disease. These interactions are of particular interest to conservation efforts as many amphibians live in altered habitats and may depend on wetlands embedded in these landscapes to survive

  9. Cool temperatures reduce antifungal activity of symbiotic bacteria of threatened amphibians--implications for disease management and patterns of decline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua H Daskin

    Full Text Available Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, is a widespread disease of amphibians responsible for population declines and extinctions. Some bacteria from amphibians' skins produce antimicrobial substances active against Bd. Supplementing populations of these cutaneous antifungal bacteria might help manage chytridiomycosis in wild amphibians. However, the activity of protective bacteria may depend upon environmental conditions. Biocontrol of Bd in nature thus requires knowledge of how environmental conditions affect their anti-Bd activity. For example, Bd-driven amphibian declines have often occurred at temperatures below Bd's optimum range. It is possible these declines occurred due to reduced anti-Bd activity of bacterial symbionts at cool temperatures. Better understanding of the effects of temperature on chytridiomycosis development could also improve risk evaluation for amphibian populations yet to encounter Bd. We characterized, at a range of temperatures approximating natural seasonal variation, the anti-Bd activity of bacterial symbionts from the skins of three species of rainforest tree frogs (Litoria nannotis, Litoria rheocola, and Litoria serrata. All three species declined during chytridiomycosis outbreaks in the late 1980s and early 1990s and have subsequently recovered to differing extents. We collected anti-Bd bacterial symbionts from frogs and cultured the bacteria at constant temperatures from 8 °C to 33 °C. Using a spectrophotometric assay, we monitored Bd growth in cell-free supernatants (CFSs from each temperature treatment. CFSs from 11 of 24 bacteria showed reduced anti-Bd activity in vitro when they were produced at cool temperatures similar to those encountered by the host species during population declines. Reduced anti-Bd activity of metabolites produced at low temperatures may, therefore, partially explain the association between Bd-driven declines and cool temperatures. We show that to

  10. Successful treatment of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans infections in salamanders requires synergy between voriconazole, polymyxin E and temperature

    OpenAIRE

    Blooi, Mark; Pasmans, Frank; Rouffaer, Lieze; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Vercammen, Francis; Martel, An

    2015-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) poses a serious threat to urodelan diversity worldwide. Antimycotic treatment of this disease using protocols developed for the related fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), results in therapeutic failure. Here, we reveal that this therapeutic failure is partly due to different minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of antimycotics against Bsal and Bd. In vitro growth inhibition of Bsal occurs after...

  11. The metamorphosis of amphibian toxicogenomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caren eHelbing

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Amphibians are important vertebrates in toxicology often representing both aquatic and terrestrial forms within the life history of the same species. Of the thousands of species, only two have substantial genomics resources: the recently published genome of the Pipid, Xenopus (Silurana tropicalis, and transcript information (and ongoing genome sequencing project of Xenopus laevis. However, many more species representative of regional ecological niches and life strategies are used in toxicology worldwide. Since Xenopus species diverged from the most populous frog family, the Ranidae, ~200 million years ago, there are notable differences between them and the even more distant Caudates (salamanders and Caecilians. These differences include genome size, gene composition, and extent of polyploidization. Application of toxicogenomics to amphibians requires the mobilization of resources and expertise to develop de novo sequence assemblies and analysis strategies for a broader range of amphibian species. The present mini-review will present the advances in toxicogenomics as pertains to amphibians with particular emphasis upon the development and use of genomic techniques (inclusive of transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics and the challenges inherent therein.

  12. Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    For many years, ecological research on amphibians and reptiles has lagged behind that of other vertebrates such as fishes, birds, and mammals, despite the known importance of these animals in their environments. The lack of study has been particularly acute in the he area of ecotoxicology where the number of published scientific papers is a fraction of that found for the other vertebrate classes. Recently, scientists have become aware of severe crises among amphibian populations, including unexplained and sudden extinctions, worldwide declines, and hideous malformations. In many of these instances, contaminants have been listed as probable contributors. Data on the effects of contaminants on reptiles are so depauperate that even the most elementary interpretations are difficult. This state-of-the-science review and synthesis of amphibian and reptile ecotoxicology demonstrates the inter-relationships among distribution, ecology, physiology, and contaminant exposure, and interprets these topics as they pertain to comparative toxicity, population declines, malformations, and risk assessment . In this way, the book identifies and serves as a basis for the most pressing research needs in the coming years. The editors have invited 27 other internationally respected experts to examine the state of existing data in specific areas, interpret it in light of current problems, and identify research gaps and needs. Through its emphasis on recent research, extensive reviews and synthesis, Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles will remain a definitive reference work well into the new century.

  13. METAPOPULATION DYNAMICS AND AMPHIBIAN CONSERVATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    In many respects, amphibian spatial dynamics resemble classical metapopulation models, where subpopulations in breeding ponds blink in and out of existance and where extinction and colonization rates are functions of pond spatial arrangement. This "ponds-as-patches" view of amphi...

  14. Surviving chytridiomycosis: differential anti-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis activity in bacterial isolates from three lowland species of Atelopus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra V Flechas

    Full Text Available In the Neotropics, almost every species of the stream-dwelling harlequin toads (genus Atelopus have experienced catastrophic declines. The persistence of lowland species of Atelopus could be explained by the lower growth rate of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd at temperatures above 25 °C. We tested the complementary hypothesis that the toads' skin bacterial microbiota acts as a protective barrier against the pathogen, perhaps delaying or impeding the symptomatic phase of chytridiomycosis. We isolated 148 cultivable bacterial strains from three lowland Atelopus species and quantified the anti-Bd activity through antagonism assays. Twenty-six percent (38 strains representing 12 species of the bacteria inhibited Bd growth and just two of them were shared among the toad species sampled in different localities. Interestingly, the strongest anti-Bd activity was measured in bacteria isolated from A. elegans, the only species that tested positive for the pathogen. The cutaneous bacterial microbiota is thus likely a fitness-enhancing trait that may (adaptation or not (exaptation have appeared because of natural selection mediated by chytridiomycosis. Our findings reveal bacterial strains for development of local probiotic treatments against chytridiomycosis and also shed light on the mechanisms behind the frog-bacteria-pathogen interaction.

  15. Surviving chytridiomycosis: differential anti-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis activity in bacterial isolates from three lowland species of Atelopus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flechas, Sandra V; Sarmiento, Carolina; Cárdenas, Martha E; Medina, Edgar M; Restrepo, Silvia; Amézquita, Adolfo

    2012-01-01

    In the Neotropics, almost every species of the stream-dwelling harlequin toads (genus Atelopus) have experienced catastrophic declines. The persistence of lowland species of Atelopus could be explained by the lower growth rate of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) at temperatures above 25 °C. We tested the complementary hypothesis that the toads' skin bacterial microbiota acts as a protective barrier against the pathogen, perhaps delaying or impeding the symptomatic phase of chytridiomycosis. We isolated 148 cultivable bacterial strains from three lowland Atelopus species and quantified the anti-Bd activity through antagonism assays. Twenty-six percent (38 strains representing 12 species) of the bacteria inhibited Bd growth and just two of them were shared among the toad species sampled in different localities. Interestingly, the strongest anti-Bd activity was measured in bacteria isolated from A. elegans, the only species that tested positive for the pathogen. The cutaneous bacterial microbiota is thus likely a fitness-enhancing trait that may (adaptation) or not (exaptation) have appeared because of natural selection mediated by chytridiomycosis. Our findings reveal bacterial strains for development of local probiotic treatments against chytridiomycosis and also shed light on the mechanisms behind the frog-bacteria-pathogen interaction. PMID:22970314

  16. Community Structure and Function of Amphibian Skin Microbes: An Experiment with Bullfrogs Exposed to a Chytrid Fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walke, Jenifer B; Becker, Matthew H; Loftus, Stephen C; House, Leanna L; Teotonio, Thais L; Minbiole, Kevin P C; Belden, Lisa K

    2015-01-01

    The vertebrate microbiome contributes to disease resistance, but few experiments have examined the link between microbiome community structure and disease resistance functions. Chytridiomycosis, a major cause of amphibian population declines, is a skin disease caused by the fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). In a factorial experiment, bullfrog skin microbiota was reduced with antibiotics, augmented with an anti-Bd bacterial isolate (Janthinobacterium lividum), or unmanipulated, and individuals were then either exposed or not exposed to Bd. We found that the microbial community structure of individual frogs prior to Bd exposure influenced Bd infection intensity one week following exposure, which, in turn, was negatively correlated with proportional growth during the experiment. Microbial community structure and function differed among unmanipulated, antibiotic-treated, and augmented frogs only when frogs were exposed to Bd. Bd is a selective force on microbial community structure and function, and beneficial states of microbial community structure may serve to limit the impacts of infection. PMID:26445500

  17. Community Structure and Function of Amphibian Skin Microbes: An Experiment with Bullfrogs Exposed to a Chytrid Fungus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenifer B Walke

    Full Text Available The vertebrate microbiome contributes to disease resistance, but few experiments have examined the link between microbiome community structure and disease resistance functions. Chytridiomycosis, a major cause of amphibian population declines, is a skin disease caused by the fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. In a factorial experiment, bullfrog skin microbiota was reduced with antibiotics, augmented with an anti-Bd bacterial isolate (Janthinobacterium lividum, or unmanipulated, and individuals were then either exposed or not exposed to Bd. We found that the microbial community structure of individual frogs prior to Bd exposure influenced Bd infection intensity one week following exposure, which, in turn, was negatively correlated with proportional growth during the experiment. Microbial community structure and function differed among unmanipulated, antibiotic-treated, and augmented frogs only when frogs were exposed to Bd. Bd is a selective force on microbial community structure and function, and beneficial states of microbial community structure may serve to limit the impacts of infection.

  18. Antibacterial therapeutics for the treatment of chytrid infection in amphibians: Columbus’s egg?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muijsers Mariska

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The establishment of safe and effective protocols to treat chytridiomycosis in amphibians is urgently required. In this study, the usefulness of antibacterial agents to clear chytridiomycosis from infected amphibians was evaluated. Results Florfenicol, sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine and the combination of trimethoprim and sulfonamides were active in vitro against cultures of five Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis strains containing sporangia and zoospores, with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC of 0.5-1.0 μg/ml for florfenicol and 8.0 μg/ml for the sulfonamides. Trimethoprim was not capable of inhibiting growth but, combined with sulfonamides, reduced the time to visible growth inhibition by the sulfonamides. Growth inhibition of B. dendrobatidis was not observed after exposure to clindamycin, doxycycline, enrofloxacin, paromomycin, polymyxin E and tylosin. Cultures of sporangia and zoospores of B. dendrobatidis strains JEL423 and IA042 were killed completely after 14 days of exposure to 100 μg/ml florfenicol or 16 μg/ml trimethoprim combined with 80 μg/ml sulfadiazine. These concentrations were, however, not capable of efficiently killing zoospores within 4 days after exposure as assessed using flow cytometry. Florfenicol concentrations remained stable in a bathing solution during a ten day period. Exposure of Discoglossus scovazzi tadpoles for ten days to 100 μg/ml but not to 10 μg florfenicol /ml water resulted in toxicity. In an in vivo trial, post metamorphic Alytes muletensis, experimentally inoculated with B. dendrobatidis, were treated topically with a solution containing 10 μg/ml of florfenicol during 14 days. Although a significant reduction of the B. dendrobatidis load was obtained, none of the treated animals cleared the infection. Conclusions We thus conclude that, despite marked anti B. dendrobatidis activity in vitro, the florfenicol treatment used is not capable of eliminating B

  19. Effects of amphibian chytrid fungus on individual survival probability in wild boreal toads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, D.S.; Muths, E.; Scherer, R. D.; Bartelt, P.E.; Corn, P.S.; Hossack, B.R.; Lambert, B.A.; Mccaffery, R.; Gaughan, C.

    2010-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis is linked to the worldwide decline of amphibians, yet little is known about the demographic effects of the disease. We collected capture-recapture data on three populations of boreal toads (Bufo boreas [Bufo = Anaxyrus]) in the Rocky Mountains (U.S.A.). Two of the populations were infected with chytridiomycosis and one was not. We examined the effect of the presence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis [Bd]; the agent of chytridiomycosis) on survival probability and population growth rate. Toads that were infected with Bd had lower average annual survival probability than uninfected individuals at sites where Bd was detected, which suggests chytridiomycosis may reduce survival by 31-42% in wild boreal toads. Toads that were negative for Bd at infected sites had survival probabilities comparable to toads at the uninfected site. Evidence that environmental covariates (particularly cold temperatures during the breeding season) influenced toad survival was weak. The number of individuals in diseased populations declined by 5-7%/year over the 6 years of the study, whereas the uninfected population had comparatively stable population growth. Our data suggest that the presence of Bd in these toad populations is not causing rapid population declines. Rather, chytridiomycosis appears to be functioning as a low-level, chronic disease whereby some infected individuals survive but the overall population effects are still negative. Our results show that some amphibian populations may be coexisting with Bd and highlight the importance of quantitative assessments of survival in diseased animal populations. Journal compilation. ?? 2010 Society for Conservation Biology. No claim to original US government works.

  20. Evaluation of Amphotericin B and Chloramphenicol as Alternative Drugs for Treatment of Chytridiomycosis and Their Impacts on Innate Skin Defenses

    OpenAIRE

    Holden, Whitney M.; Ebert, Alexander R.; Canning, Peter F.; Rollins-Smith, Louise A.

    2014-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis, an amphibian skin disease caused by the emerging fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, has been implicated in catastrophic global amphibian declines. The result is an alarming decrease in amphibian diversity that is a great concern for the scientific community. Clinical trials testing potential antifungal drugs are needed to identify alternative treatments for amphibians infected with this pathogen. In this study, we quantified the MICs of chloramphenicol (800 μg/m...

  1. AMPHIBIAN MITIGATION MEASURES IN CENTRAL-EUROPE

    OpenAIRE

    Puky, Miklós

    2003-01-01

    Studies from different continents have proved amphibians to be the most frequently killed vertebrates on roads. In Central-Europe their ratio is between 70 and 88 percent. Local populations are known to become extinct or genetically isolated, and avoidance is also recognised, especially where the road network is dense and the traffi c is intensive. Besides ecological and conservation considerations, amphibian road kills also present a hazard for motorists when amphibians migrate in large numb...

  2. Cool Temperatures Reduce Antifungal Activity of Symbiotic Bacteria of Threatened Amphibians – Implications for Disease Management and Patterns of Decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daskin, Joshua H.; Bell, Sara C.; Schwarzkopf, Lin; Alford, Ross A.

    2014-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a widespread disease of amphibians responsible for population declines and extinctions. Some bacteria from amphibians’ skins produce antimicrobial substances active against Bd. Supplementing populations of these cutaneous antifungal bacteria might help manage chytridiomycosis in wild amphibians. However, the activity of protective bacteria may depend upon environmental conditions. Biocontrol of Bd in nature thus requires knowledge of how environmental conditions affect their anti-Bd activity. For example, Bd-driven amphibian declines have often occurred at temperatures below Bd’s optimum range. It is possible these declines occurred due to reduced anti-Bd activity of bacterial symbionts at cool temperatures. Better understanding of the effects of temperature on chytridiomycosis development could also improve risk evaluation for amphibian populations yet to encounter Bd. We characterized, at a range of temperatures approximating natural seasonal variation, the anti-Bd activity of bacterial symbionts from the skins of three species of rainforest tree frogs (Litoria nannotis, Litoria rheocola, and Litoria serrata). All three species declined during chytridiomycosis outbreaks in the late 1980s and early 1990s and have subsequently recovered to differing extents. We collected anti-Bd bacterial symbionts from frogs and cultured the bacteria at constant temperatures from 8°C to 33°C. Using a spectrophotometric assay, we monitored Bd growth in cell-free supernatants (CFSs) from each temperature treatment. CFSs from 11 of 24 bacteria showed reduced anti-Bd activity in vitro when they were produced at cool temperatures similar to those encountered by the host species during population declines. Reduced anti-Bd activity of metabolites produced at low temperatures may, therefore, partially explain the association between Bd-driven declines and cool temperatures. We show that to avoid

  3. Amphibian haematology: Metamorphosis-related changes in blood cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenkilde, Per; Sørensen, Inger; Ussing, Anne Phaff

    1995-01-01

    Zoofysiologi, Amphibian metamorphosis, Haematology, Immunosuppression, Immunological Tolerance, Protozoan Infection, metamorfose, springpadder, ontogenese, halepadder.......Zoofysiologi, Amphibian metamorphosis, Haematology, Immunosuppression, Immunological Tolerance, Protozoan Infection, metamorfose, springpadder, ontogenese, halepadder....

  4. The Search for Violacein-Producing Microbes to Combat Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: A Collaborative Research Project between Secondary School and College Research Students†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agate, Larra; Beam, Deborah; Bucci, Collen; Dukashin, Yegor; Jo’Beh, Raneem; O’Brien, Kelsey; Jude, Brooke A.

    2016-01-01

    In this citizen science–aided, college laboratory–based microbiology research project, secondary school students collaborate with college research students on an investigation centered around bacterial species in the local watershed. This study specifically investigated the prevalence of violacein-producing bacterial isolates, as violacein has been demonstrated as a potential bioremediation treatment for outbreaks of the worldwide invasive chytrid, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). The impact of this invasion has been linked to widespread amphibian decline, and tracking of the spread of Bd is currently ongoing. Secondary school students participated in this research project by sterilely collecting water samples from a local watershed, documenting the samples, and completing the initial sample plating in a BSL1 environment. In the second phase of this project, trained college students working in courses and as research assistants in the academic year and summer term in a BSL2 laboratory facility were able to use physiological, biochemical, and molecular techniques to further identify individual isolates as well as characterize their properties. Collaboration between these learning spaces provides an increased interest in the community for environmentally relevant research projects and allows for an expansion of the research team to increase study robustness. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education PMID:27047594

  5. The Search for Violacein-Producing Microbes to Combat Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: A Collaborative Research Project between Secondary School and College Research Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agate, Larra; Beam, Deborah; Bucci, Collen; Dukashin, Yegor; Jo'Beh, Raneem; O'Brien, Kelsey; Jude, Brooke A

    2016-03-01

    In this citizen science-aided, college laboratory-based microbiology research project, secondary school students collaborate with college research students on an investigation centered around bacterial species in the local watershed. This study specifically investigated the prevalence of violacein-producing bacterial isolates, as violacein has been demonstrated as a potential bioremediation treatment for outbreaks of the worldwide invasive chytrid, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). The impact of this invasion has been linked to widespread amphibian decline, and tracking of the spread of Bd is currently ongoing. Secondary school students participated in this research project by sterilely collecting water samples from a local watershed, documenting the samples, and completing the initial sample plating in a BSL1 environment. In the second phase of this project, trained college students working in courses and as research assistants in the academic year and summer term in a BSL2 laboratory facility were able to use physiological, biochemical, and molecular techniques to further identify individual isolates as well as characterize their properties. Collaboration between these learning spaces provides an increased interest in the community for environmentally relevant research projects and allows for an expansion of the research team to increase study robustness. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education. PMID:27047594

  6. The Search for Violacein-Producing Microbes to Combat Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: A Collaborative Research Project between Secondary School and College Research Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larra Agate

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available In this citizen science–aided, college laboratory–based microbiology research project, secondary school students collaborate with college research students on an investigation centered around bacterial species in the local watershed. This study specifically investigated the prevalence of violacein-producing bacterial isolates, as violacein has been demonstrated as a potential bioremediation treatment for outbreaks of the worldwide invasive chytrid, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. The impact of this invasion has been linked to widespread amphibian decline, and tracking of the spread of Bd is currently ongoing. Secondary school students participated in this research project by sterilely collecting water samples from a local watershed, documenting the samples, and completing the initial sample plating in a BSL1 environment. In the second phase of this project, trained college students working in courses and as research assistants in the academic year and summer term in a BSL2 laboratory facility were able to use physiological, biochemical, and molecular techniques to further identify individual isolates as well as characterize their properties. Collaboration between these learning spaces provides an increased interest in the community for environmentally relevant research projects and allows for an expansion of the research team to increase study robustness.

  7. Microevolution due to pollution in amphibians: A review on the genetic erosion hypothesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The loss of genetic diversity, due to exposure to chemical contamination (genetic erosion), is a major threat to population viability. Genetic erosion is the loss of genetic variation: the loss of alleles determining the value of a specific trait or set of traits. Almost a third of the known amphibian species is considered to be endangered and a decrease of genetic variability can push them to the verge of extinction. This review indicates that loss of genetic variation due to chemical contamination has effects on: 1) fitness, 2) environmental plasticity, 3) co-tolerance mechanisms, 4) trade-off mechanisms, and 5) tolerance to pathogens in amphibian populations. - Highlights: • Effects of environmental stressors on the genetic diversity of natural populations of amphibians have usually been underestimated. • Environmental pollution may reduce the genetic diversity of exposed amphibian populations. • Genetic erosion can lead to reduced fitness and lack of adaptability to a changing environment. - Contaminant-driven genetic erosion is a major threat to population viability in amphibians

  8. A model for the interaction of frog population dynamics with Batrachochytrium dendrobaties, Janthinobacterium lividium and temperature and its implication for chytridiomycosis management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackleh, Azmy S.; Carter, Jacoby; Chellamuthu, Vinodh K.; Ma, Baoling

    2016-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis is an emerging disease caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) that poses a serious threat to frog populations worldwide. Several studies have shown that inoculation of bacterial species Janthinobacterium lividum (Jl) can mitigate the impact of the disease. However, there are many questions regarding this interaction. A mathematical model of a frog population infected with chytridiomycosis is developed to investigate how the inoculation of Jl could reduce the impact of Bd disease on frogs. The model also illustrates the important role of temperature in disease dynamics. The model simulation results suggest possible control strategies for Jl to limit the impact of Bd in various scenarios. However, a better knowledge of Jl life cycle is needed to fully understand the interaction of Jl, Bd, temperature and frogs.

  9. Suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germano, Jennifer M; Bishop, Phillip J

    2009-02-01

    Translocations are important tools in the field of conservation. Despite increased use over the last few decades, the appropriateness of translocations for amphibians and reptiles has been debated widely over the past 20 years. To provide a comprehensive evaluation of the suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation, we reviewed the results of amphibian and reptile translocation projects published between 1991 and 2006. The success rate of amphibian and reptile translocations reported over this period was twice that reported in an earlier review in 1991. Success and failure rates were independent of the taxonomic class (Amphibia or Reptilia) released. Reptile translocations driven by human-wildlife conflict mitigation had a higher failure rate than those motivated by conservation, and more recent projects of reptile translocations had unknown outcomes. The outcomes of amphibian translocations were significantly related to the number of animals released, with projects releasing over 1000 individuals being most successful. The most common reported causes of translocation failure were homing and migration of introduced individuals out of release sites and poor habitat. The increased success of amphibian and reptile translocations reviewed in this study compared with the 1991 review is encouraging for future conservation projects. Nevertheless, more preparation, monitoring, reporting of results, and experimental testing of techniques and reintroduction questions need to occur to improve translocations of amphibians and reptiles as a whole. PMID:19143783

  10. Effects of pond salinization on survival rate of amphibian hosts infected with the chytrid fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockwell, Michelle Pirrie; Storrie, Lachlan James; Pollard, Carla Jean; Clulow, John; Mahony, Michael Joseph

    2015-04-01

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in the decline and extinction of amphibian populations worldwide, but management options are limited. Recent studies show that sodium chloride (NaCl) has fungicidal properties that reduce the mortality rates of infected hosts in captivity. We investigated whether similar results can be obtained by adding salt to water bodies in the field. We increased the salinity of 8 water bodies to 2 or 4 ppt and left an additional 4 water bodies with close to 0 ppt and monitored salinity for 18 months. Captively bred tadpoles of green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea) were released into each water body and their development, levels of B. dendrobatidis infection, and survival were monitored at 1, 4, and 12 months. The effect of salt on the abundance of nontarget organisms was also investigated in before and after style analyses. Salinities remained constant over time with little intervention. Hosts in water bodies with 4 ppt salt had a significantly lower prevalence of chytrid infection and higher survival, following metamorphosis, than hosts in 0 ppt salt. Tadpoles in the 4 ppt group were smaller in length after 1 month in the release site than those in the 0 and 2 ppt groups, but after metamorphosis body size in all water bodies was similar . In water bodies with 4 ppt salt, the abundance of dwarf tree frogs (Litoria fallax), dragonfly larvae, and damselfly larvae was lower than in water bodies with 0 and 2 ppt salt, which could have knock-on effects for community structure. Based on our results, salt may be an effective field-based B. dendrobatidis mitigation tool for lentic amphibians that could contribute to the conservation of numerous susceptible species. However, as in all conservation efforts, these benefits need to be weighed against negative effects on both target and nontarget organisms. PMID:25354647

  11. A checklist of amphibians of Kerala, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep Das

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available A checklist of amphibians of Kerala State is presented in this paper.  Accepted English names, scientific binomen,  vernacular names in Malayalam, IUCN conservation status, endemism, Indian Wildlife (Protection Act schedules, and the appendices in the CITES, pertaining to the amphibians of Kerala are also given.  The State of Kerala has 151 species of amphibians, 136 of which are endemic to Western Ghats and 50 species fall under the various threatened categories of IUCN.  

  12. Joint effects of habitat, zooplankton, host stage structure and diversity on amphibian chytrid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hite, Jessica L; Bosch, Jaime; Fernández-Beaskoetxea, Saioa; Medina, Daniel; Hall, Spencer R

    2016-07-27

    Why does the severity of parasite infection differ dramatically across habitats? This question remains challenging to answer because multiple correlated pathways drive disease. Here, we examined habitat-disease links through direct effects on parasites and indirect effects on parasite predators (zooplankton), host diversity and key life stages of hosts. We used a case study of amphibian hosts and the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in a set of permanent and ephemeral alpine ponds. A field experiment showed that ultraviolet radiation (UVR) killed the free-living infectious stage of the parasite. Yet, permanent ponds with more UVR exposure had higher infection prevalence. Two habitat-related indirect effects worked together to counteract parasite losses from UVR: (i) UVR reduced the density of parasite predators and (ii) permanent sites fostered multi-season host larvae that fuelled parasite production. Host diversity was unlinked to hydroperiod or UVR but counteracted parasite gains; sites with higher diversity of host species had lower prevalence of infection. Thus, while habitat structure explained considerable variation in infection prevalence through two indirect pathways, it could not account for everything. This study demonstrates the importance of creating mechanistic, food web-based links between multiple habitat dimensions and disease. PMID:27466456

  13. Marginal Bayesian nonparametric model for time to disease arrival of threatened amphibian populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Haiming; Hanson, Timothy; Knapp, Roland

    2015-12-01

    The global emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused the extinction of hundreds of amphibian species worldwide. It has become increasingly important to be able to precisely predict time to Bd arrival in a population. The data analyzed herein present a unique challenge in terms of modeling because there is a strong spatial component to Bd arrival time and the traditional proportional hazards assumption is grossly violated. To address these concerns, we develop a novel marginal Bayesian nonparametric survival model for spatially correlated right-censored data. This class of models assumes that the logarithm of survival times marginally follow a mixture of normal densities with a linear-dependent Dirichlet process prior as the random mixing measure, and their joint distribution is induced by a Gaussian copula model with a spatial correlation structure. To invert high-dimensional spatial correlation matrices, we adopt a full-scale approximation that can capture both large- and small-scale spatial dependence. An efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm with delayed rejection is proposed for posterior computation, and an R package spBayesSurv is provided to fit the model. This approach is first evaluated through simulations, then applied to threatened frog populations in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. PMID:26148536

  14. Amphibian macrophage development and antiviral defenses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grayfer, Leon; Robert, Jacques

    2016-05-01

    Macrophage lineage cells represent the cornerstone of vertebrate physiology and immune defenses. In turn, comparative studies using non-mammalian animal models have revealed that evolutionarily distinct species have adopted diverse molecular and physiological strategies for controlling macrophage development and functions. Notably, amphibian species present a rich array of physiological and environmental adaptations, not to mention the peculiarity of metamorphosis from larval to adult stages of development, involving drastic transformation and differentiation of multiple new tissues. Thus it is not surprising that different amphibian species and their respective tadpole and adult stages have adopted unique hematopoietic strategies. Accordingly and in order to establish a more comprehensive view of these processes, here we review the hematopoietic and monopoietic strategies observed across amphibians, describe the present understanding of the molecular mechanisms driving amphibian, an in particular Xenopus laevis macrophage development and functional polarization, and discuss the roles of macrophage-lineage cells during ranavirus infections. PMID:26705159

  15. Maryland ESI: REPTILES (Reptile and Amphibian Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for sea turtles, estuarine turtles, and rare reptiles and amphibians in Maryland. Vector polygons in this...

  16. Amphibians and Reptiles of Los Alamos County

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teralene S. Foxx; Timothy K. Haarmann; David C. Keller

    1999-10-01

    Recent studies have shown that amphibians and reptiles are good indicators of environmental health. They live in terrestrial and aquatic environments and are often the first animals to be affected by environmental change. This publication provides baseline information about amphibians and reptiles that are present on the Pajarito Plateau. Ten years of data collection and observations by researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of New Mexico, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and hobbyists are represented.

  17. Presence of the amphibian chytrid pathogen confirmed in Cameroon

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Baláž, V.; Kopecký, O.; Gvoždík, Václav

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 22, č. 3 (2012), s. 191-194. ISSN 0268-0130 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional support: RVO:67985904 Keywords : Afromontane * chytridiomycosis * Congolian lowland rainforests Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.081, year: 2012

  18. Phylogeny and Differentiation of Reptilian and Amphibian Ranaviruses Detected in Europe

    OpenAIRE

    Anke C Stöhr; Alberto López-Bueno; Silvia Blahak; Caeiro, Maria F.; Rosa, Gonçalo M.; António Pedro Alves de Matos; An Martel; Alí Alejo; Marschang, Rachel E.

    2015-01-01

    Ranaviruses in amphibians and fish are considered emerging pathogens and several isolates have been extensively characterized in different studies. Ranaviruses have also been detected in reptiles with increasing frequency, but the role of reptilian hosts is still unclear and only limited sequence data has been provided. In this study, we characterized a number of ranaviruses detected in wild and captive animals in Europe based on sequence data from six genomic regions (major capsid protein (M...

  19. Diagnosis of Aeromonas hydrophila, Mycobacterium species, and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in an African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis)

    OpenAIRE

    Hill, William A; Newman, Shelley J; Craig, Linden; Carter, Christopher; Czarra, Jane; Brown, J Paige

    2010-01-01

    Here we describe diagnosis of concurrent infection with Aeromonas hydrophila, Mycobacterium spp., and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in a wild female Xenopus laevis captured in Chile and transported to the United States. After approximately 130 d in the laboratory, the frog was presented for dysecdysis and obtundation. After euthanasia, tissues were submitted for histopathologic evaluation and PCR analysis for B. dendrobatidis and Ranavirus. Clinically significant gross lesions included cutan...

  20. A Brazilian anuran (Hylodes magalhaesi: Leptodactylidae) infected by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: a conservation concern

    OpenAIRE

    Toledo, L. F.; Haddad, C. F. B.; Carnaval, A. C. O. Q.; F. B. Britto

    2010-01-01

    Several studies have associated the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis with anuran population declines worldwide. To date, the fungus has been found in Africa, the Americas, Australia, and Europe. However, it has never been reported to occur in the Atlantic forest or Brazil. Based on morphological, histological, and molecular data, we encountered evidence of B. dendrobatidis infection in a high-altitude stream-dwelling Brazilian anuran species, Hylodes magalhaesi (Leptodactylidae)....

  1. Direct and Indirect Effects of Climate Change on Amphibian Populations

    OpenAIRE

    Stephanie S. Gervasi; Searle, Catherine L.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Betsy A. Bancroft; Walls, Susan C.; Blaustein, Andrew R

    2010-01-01

    As part of an overall decline in biodiversity, populations of many organisms are declining and species are being lost at unprecedented rates around the world. This includes many populations and species of amphibians. Although numerous factors are affecting amphibian populations, we show potential direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibians at the individual, population and community level. Shifts in amphibian ranges are predicted. Changes in climate may affect survival, growth...

  2. The cause of global amphibian declines: a developmental endocrinologist's perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Hayes, T. B.; Falso, P.; Gallipeau, S.; Stice, M.

    2010-01-01

    Greater than 70% of the world's amphibian species are in decline. We propose that there is probably not a single cause for global amphibian declines and present a three-tiered hierarchical approach that addresses interactions among and between ultimate and proximate factors that contribute to amphibian declines. There are two immediate (proximate) causes of amphibian declines: death and decreased recruitment (reproductive failure). Although much attention has focused on death, few studies hav...

  3. Microbiota and mucosal immunity in amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno M Colombo

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available We know that animals live in a world dominated by bacteria. In the last twenty years we have learned that microbes are essential regulators of mucosal immunity. Bacterias, archeas and viruses influence different aspects of mucosal development and function. Yet the literature mainly covers findings obtained in mammals. In this review, we focus on two major themes that emerge from the comparative analysis of mammals and amphibians. These themes concern: i the structure and functions of lymphoid organs and immune cells in amphibians, with a focus on the gut mucosal immune system; and ii the characteristics of the amphibian microbiota and its influence on mucosal immunity. Lastly, we propose to use Xenopus tadpoles as an alternative small animal model to improve the fundamental knowledge on immunological functions of gut microbiota.

  4. Where to look when identifying roadkilled amphibians?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Franch

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Roads have multiple effects on wildlife; amphibians are one of the groups more intensely affected by roadkills. Monitoring roadkills is expensive and time consuming. Automated mapping systems for detecting roadkills, based on robotic computer vision techniques, are largely necessary. Amphibians can be recognised by a set of features as shape, size, colouration, habitat and location. This species identification by using multiple features at the same time is known as “jizz”. In a similar way to human vision, computer vision algorithms must incorporate a prioritisation process when analysing the objects in an image. Our main goal here was to give a numerical priority sequence of particular characteristics of roadkilled amphibians to improve the computing and learning process of algorithms. We asked hundred and five amateur and professional herpetologists to answer a simple test of five sets with ten images each of roadkilled amphibians, in order to determine which body parts or characteristics (body form, colour, and other patterns are used to identify correctly the species. Anura was the group most easily identified when it was roadkilled and Caudata was the most difficult. The lower the taxonomic level of amphibian, the higher the difficulty of identifying them, both in Anura and Caudata. Roadkilled amphibians in general and Anura group were mostly identified by the Form, by the combination of Form and Colour, and finally by Colour. Caudata was identified mainly on Form and Colour and on Colour. Computer vision algorithms must incorporate these combinations of features, avoiding to work exclusively in one specific feature.

  5. Culture of Cells from Amphibian Embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanisstreet, Martin

    1983-01-01

    Describes a method for in vitro culturing of cells from amphibian early embryos. Such cells can be used to demonstrate such properties of eukaryote cells as cell motility, adhesion, differentiation, and cell sorting into tissues. The technique may be extended to investigate other factors. (Author/JN)

  6. POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENTAL EFFECTS OF ATRAZINE ON AMPHIBIANS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recent research has generated conflicting results on the effects of atrazine on gonadal developmental (e.g., male hermaphroditism) in amphibians and how these effects influence secondary sexual characteristics (e.g., laryngeal muscle mass). The SAP is being asked to consider the...

  7. Phylogeny and differentiation of reptilian and amphibian ranaviruses detected in Europe.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anke C Stöhr

    Full Text Available Ranaviruses in amphibians and fish are considered emerging pathogens and several isolates have been extensively characterized in different studies. Ranaviruses have also been detected in reptiles with increasing frequency, but the role of reptilian hosts is still unclear and only limited sequence data has been provided. In this study, we characterized a number of ranaviruses detected in wild and captive animals in Europe based on sequence data from six genomic regions (major capsid protein (MCP, DNA polymerase (DNApol, ribonucleoside diphosphate reductase alpha and beta subunit-like proteins (RNR-α and -β, viral homolog of the alpha subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2, eIF-2α (vIF-2α genes and microsatellite region. A total of ten different isolates from reptiles (tortoises, lizards, and a snake and four ranaviruses from amphibians (anurans, urodeles were included in the study. Furthermore, the complete genome sequences of three reptilian isolates were determined and a new PCR for rapid classification of the different variants of the genomic arrangement was developed. All ranaviruses showed slight variations on the partial nucleotide sequences from the different genomic regions (92.6-100%. Some very similar isolates could be distinguished by the size of the band from the microsatellite region. Three of the lizard isolates had a truncated vIF-2α gene; the other ranaviruses had full-length genes. In the phylogenetic analyses of concatenated sequences from different genes (3223 nt/10287 aa, the reptilian ranaviruses were often more closely related to amphibian ranaviruses than to each other, and most clustered together with previously detected ranaviruses from the same geographic region of origin. Comparative analyses show that among the closely related amphibian-like ranaviruses (ALRVs described to date, three recently split and independently evolving distinct genetic groups can be distinguished. These findings underline the wide host

  8. Host stress response is important for the pathogenesis of the deadly amphibian disease, Chytridiomycosis, in Litoria caerulea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John D Peterson

    Full Text Available Chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, has contributed to worldwide amphibian population declines; however, the pathogenesis of this disease is still somewhat unclear. Previous studies suggest that infection disrupts cutaneous sodium transport, which leads to hyponatremia and cardiac failure. However, infection is also correlated with unexplained effects on appetite, skin shedding, and white blood cell profiles. Glucocorticoid hormones may be the biochemical connection between these disparate effects, because they regulate ion homeostasis and can also influence appetite, skin shedding, and white blood cells. During a laboratory outbreak of B. dendrobatidis in Australian Green Tree Frogs, Litoria caerulea, we compared frogs showing clinical signs of chytridiomycosis to infected frogs showing no signs of disease and determined that diseased frogs had elevated baseline corticosterone, decreased plasma sodium and potassium, and altered WBC profiles. Diseased frogs also showed evidence of poorer body condition and elevated metabolic rates compared with frogs showing no signs of disease. Prior to displaying signs of disease, we also observed changes in appetite, body mass, and the presence of shed skin associated with infected but not yet diseased frogs. Collectively, these results suggest that elevated baseline corticosterone is associated with chytridiomycosis and correlates with some of the deleterious effects observed during disease development.

  9. Estudio de quitridiomicosis por Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis en anfibios anuros del Litoral, Cuyo y Patagonia Argentina

    OpenAIRE

    Ghirardi, Romina

    2012-01-01

    La quitridiomicosis es una enfermedad emergente que en los últimos años ha sido vinculada a la muerte masiva de los anfibios. Esta enfermedad es causada por el hongo acuático zoospórico Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis -Bd- (Orden Rhyzophydiales). La infección de los anfibios comienza cuando las zoosporas móviles contactan un animal susceptible y penetran en su piel. Las alteraciones producidas por esta infección interfieren con varias funciones epiteliales de los anfibios como la circulación y...

  10. Helping Your Local Amphibians (HYLA): An Internet-Based Amphibian Course for Educators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Tony P.

    2001-12-01

    A pilot on-line course on amphibians was offered free to 20 educators around the United States in 1999. This course, called Helping Your Local Amphibians (HYLA), was the first of its kind on-line course for educators dealing with amphibian issues. It also used these animals as a focus to teach about the environment. The course lasted 9 weeks with some additional time for continued discussions and used various aspects of Internet technology (including a virtual conference center), media, and traditional paper-based products to complete the learning process. Five teachers were selected to attend a national amphibian summit hosted by the Center for Global Environmental Education, Hamline University, St. Paul, MN. The course was aimed primarily at upper elementary and middle school teachers, but participants included formal and nonformal educators. For the most part, educators expressed satisfaction with the course and the content, as well as the structure of the web site. For 80% of the group, this was their first Internet-based course. In addition, as part of the course, the educators were expected to take some action with their primary audiences to help local amphibian populations. This mainly took the form of surveys or habitat clean-ups. The development of the course was underwritten by grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Best Buy Children's Foundation, and Hamline University.

  11. Book review: Amphibians and reptiles in Minnesota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.

    2014-01-01

    The photograph of a young boy poised to capture a wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) on page 3 of Amphibians and Reptiles in Minnesota captures perfectly the sense of awe and wonderment that one encounters throughout John Moriarty and Carol Hall’s new book. This is a spirit that most children possess naturally and that is so readily apparent when one of them comes face-to-face with one of the 53 species of frogs, toads, salamanders, turtles, lizards, or snakes that make Minnesota their home. This is a spirit that the authors have maintained in their hearts throughout almost 30 years of chasing, capturing, and studying amphibians and reptiles (a.k.a., herptiles or herps) in Minnesota. It is also the spirit that you will find reawakening in yourself as you turn from one page to the next and encounter the abundant color photos and descriptive text within this book.

  12. Effects of Roads on Amphibian Populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hels, T.

    Lucky me to have had the chance of enjoying the barely audible sound of calling spadefoot toads on warm spring nights! Right at the breakthrough of spring they arrive at the breeding ponds, by the time when the air becomes heavy with the promising fragrances of spring and early summer. Lucky me to...... have experienced the wonders of early summer sunrises in the field - and the joy of thawing out frozen fingers after hours of field work around freezing point. Amphibian populations are declining. This worrying fact is what has initiated this work. Some fifty years ago, the life history of frogs and......, something to talk about. Fortunately, amphibians are still numerous in certain places and hopefully, we will get to a point when we know enough about the declines and their backgrounds to bring the decline to an end. It is my hope that results of this work will add a piece to the puzzle. This work is the...

  13. Bent's Old Fort: Amphibians and Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, E.

    2008-01-01

    Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site sits along the Arkansas River in the semi-desert prairie of southeastern Colorado. The USGS provided assistance in designing surveys to assess the variety of herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) resident at this site. This brochure is the results of those efforts and provides visitors with information on what frogs, toads, snakes and salamanders might be seen and heard at Bent's Old Fort.

  14. Amphibian road kills: a global perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Puky, Miklós

    2005-01-01

    Transportation infrastructure is a major factor determining land use forms. As global changes in this factor are the most important for biodiversity, roads fundamentally influence wildlife. The effect of roads on wildlife has been categorized in several ways resulting in six to ten categories with road kill as an obvious and important component, and amphibians are greatly affected by this factor. As this animal group has been documented to decline from multiple threats worldwide, the study an...

  15. Successful treatment of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans infections in salamanders requires synergy between voriconazole, polymyxin E and temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blooi, M; Pasmans, F; Rouffaer, L; Haesebrouck, F; Vercammen, F; Martel, A

    2015-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) poses a serious threat to urodelan diversity worldwide. Antimycotic treatment of this disease using protocols developed for the related fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), results in therapeutic failure. Here, we reveal that this therapeutic failure is partly due to different minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of antimycotics against Bsal and Bd. In vitro growth inhibition of Bsal occurs after exposure to voriconazole, polymyxin E, itraconazole and terbinafine but not to florfenicol. Synergistic effects between polymyxin E and voriconazole or itraconazole significantly decreased the combined MICs necessary to inhibit Bsal growth. Topical treatment of infected fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra), with voriconazole or itraconazole alone (12.5 μg/ml and 0.6 μg/ml respectively) or in combination with polymyxin E (2000 IU/ml) at an ambient temperature of 15 °C during 10 days decreased fungal loads but did not clear Bsal infections. However, topical treatment of Bsal infected animals with a combination of polymyxin E (2000 IU/ml) and voriconazole (12.5 μg/ml) at an ambient temperature of 20 °C resulted in clearance of Bsal infections. This treatment protocol was validated in 12 fire salamanders infected with Bsal during a field outbreak and resulted in clearance of infection in all animals. PMID:26123899

  16. The effect of road kills on amphibian populations

    OpenAIRE

    Hels, Tove; Buchwald,, Erik

    2001-01-01

    The diurnal movement patterns of Triturus vulgaris, T. cristatus, Pelobates fuscus, Bufo bufo, Rana temporaria, and R. arvalis were investigated during five breeding seasons (1994-1998). Two main questions were addressed: 1) What is the probability of an individual amphibian getting killed when crossing the road? and 2) What fraction of the amphibian populations gets killed by traffic? The rate of movement of 203 adult amphibians was recorded. Information on traffic loads was provided, and mo...

  17. Trends in Amphibian Occupancy in the United States

    OpenAIRE

    Adams, Michael J.; David A. W. Miller; Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Larissa L. Bailey; Gary M. Fellers; Robert N Fisher; Walter J Sadinski; Waddle, Hardin; Susan C Walls

    2013-01-01

    Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International ...

  18. Seasonal Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Rainforest Frog (Litoria rheocola) Threatened by Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Elizabeth A Roznik; Ross A. Alford

    2015-01-01

    One of the most devastating wildlife diseases ever recorded is chytridiomycosis, a recently emerged amphibian disease that is caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Understanding, predicting, and managing the impacts of chytridiomycosis on any amphibian species will require detailed information on its ecology and behavior because this pathogen is transmitted by contact with water or other individuals, and pathogen growth rates are thermally sensitive. The common mistfrog...

  19. Global rates of habitat loss and implications for amphibian conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallant, A.L.; Klaver, R.W.; Casper, G.S.; Lannoo, M.J.

    2007-01-01

    A large number of factors are known to affect amphibian population viability, but most authors agree that the principal causes of amphibian declines are habitat loss, alteration, and fragmentation. We provide a global assessment of land use dynamics in the context of amphibian distributions. We accomplished this by compiling global maps of amphibian species richness and recent rates of change in land cover, land use, and human population growth. The amphibian map was developed using a combination of published literature and digital databases. We used an ecoregion framework to help interpret species distributions across environmental, rather than political, boundaries. We mapped rates of land cover and use change with statistics from the World Resources Institute, refined with a global digital dataset on land cover derived from satellite data. Temporal maps of human population were developed from the World Resources Institute database and other published sources. Our resultant map of amphibian species richness illustrates that amphibians are distributed in an uneven pattern around the globe, preferring terrestrial and freshwater habitats in ecoregions that are warm and moist. Spatiotemporal patterns of human population show that, prior to the 20th century, population growth and spread was slower, most extensive in the temperate ecoregions, and largely exclusive of major regions of high amphibian richness. Since the beginning of the 20th century, human population growth has been exponential and has occurred largely in the subtropical and tropical ecoregions favored by amphibians. Population growth has been accompanied by broad-scale changes in land cover and land use, typically in support of agriculture. We merged information on land cover, land use, and human population growth to generate a composite map showing the rates at which humans have been changing the world. When compared with the map of amphibian species richness, we found that many of the regions of the

  20. Cryptosporidium parvum is not transmissible to fish, amphibians, or reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graczyk, T K; Fayer, R; Cranfield, M R

    1996-10-01

    A recent report suggested that an isolate of Cryptosporidium parvum had established infections in fish, amphibians, and reptiles and raises concern that animals other than mammals might be a potential source of waterborne Cryptosporidium oocysts. To test this possibility, viable C. parvum oocysts, infectious for neonatal BALB/c mice, were delivered by gastric intubation to bluegill sunfish, poison-dart frogs, African clawed frogs, bearded dragon lizards, and corn snakes. Histological sections of the stomach, jejunum, ileum, and cloaca prepared from tissues collected on days 7 and 14 postinoculation (PI) were negative for Cryptosporidium developmental stages. However, inoculum-derived oocysts were detectable by fluorescein-labeled monoclonal antibody in feces of inoculated animals from day 1 to day 12 PI in fish and frogs, and up to day 14 PI in lizards. Snakes did not defecate for 14 days PI. Impression smears taken at necropsy on days 7 and 14 PI revealed C. parvum oocysts in the lumen of the cloaca of 2 fish and 1 lizard on day 7 PI only. Because tissue stages of the pathogen were not found, it appears that C. parvum was not heterologously transmitted to lower vertebrates. Under certain circumstances, however, such as after the ingestion of C. parvum-infected prey, lower vertebrates may disseminate C. parvum oocysts in the environment. PMID:8885883

  1. Nitrogen pollution: an assessment of its threat to amphibian survival.

    OpenAIRE

    Rouse, J D; Bishop, C A; Struger, J

    1999-01-01

    The potential for nitrate to affect amphibian survival was evaluated by examining the areas in North America where concentrations of nitrate in water occur above amphibian toxicity thresholds. Nitrogen pollution from anthropogenic sources enters bodies of water through agricultural runoff or percolation associated with nitrogen fertilization, livestock, precipitation, and effluents from industrial and human wastes. Environmental concentrations of nitrate in watersheds throughout North America...

  2. Amphibians and Reptiles from Paramakatoi and Kato, Guyana

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacCulloch, Ross D.; Reynolds, Robert P.

    2012-01-01

    We report the herpetofauna of two neighboring upland locations in west-central Guyana. Twenty amphibian and 24 reptile species were collected. Only 40% of amphibians and 12.5% of reptiles were collected in both locations. This is one of the few collections made at upland (750–800 m) locations in the Guiana Shield.

  3. Amphibian Oasis: Designing and Building a Schoolyard Pond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gosselin, Heather; Johnson, Bob

    1996-01-01

    Building a pond in a schoolyard is a rewarding way to help boost local populations of amphibians, to increase the natural value of school grounds, and to serve as a locale for observing the life cycles of plants, invertebrates, and amphibians. This article outlines important considerations in designing and building a pond from siting through…

  4. What makes pathogens pathogenic

    OpenAIRE

    Ehrlich, Garth D.; Hiller, N.Luisa; Hu, Fen Ze

    2008-01-01

    Metazoans contain multiple complex microbial ecosystems in which the balance between host and microbe can be tipped from commensalism to pathogenicity. This transition is likely to depend both on the prevailing environmental conditions and on specific gene-gene interactions placed within the context of the entire ecosystem.

  5. Partners in amphibian and reptile conservation 2013 annual report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Paulette M., (Edited By); Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, Priya

    2014-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effect from overexploitation; these animals are also challenged by the perception that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural an cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation of these animals has never been more important.

  6. Endemic infection of the amphibian chytrid fungus in a frog community post-decline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard W R Retallick

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in the decline and extinction of numerous frog species worldwide. In Queensland, Australia, it has been proposed as the cause of the decline or apparent extinction of at least 14 high-elevation rainforest frog species. One of these, Taudactylus eungellensis, disappeared from rainforest streams in Eungella National Park in 1985-1986, but a few remnant populations were subsequently discovered. Here, we report the analysis of B. dendrobatidis infections in toe tips of T. eungellensis and sympatric species collected in a mark-recapture study between 1994 and 1998. This longitudinal study of the fungus in individually marked frogs sheds new light on the effect of this threatening infectious process in field, as distinct from laboratory, conditions. We found a seasonal peak of infection in the cooler months, with no evidence of interannual variation. The overall prevalence of infection was 18% in T. eungellensis and 28% in Litoria wilcoxii/jungguy, a sympatric frog that appeared not to decline in 1985-1986. No infection was found in any of the other sympatric species. Most importantly, we found no consistent evidence of lower survival in T. eungellensis that were infected at the time of first capture, compared with uninfected individuals. These results refute the hypothesis that remnant populations of T. eungellensis recovered after a B. dendrobatidis epidemic because the pathogen had disappeared. They show that populations of T. eungellensis now persist with stable, endemic infections of B. dendrobatidis.

  7. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians provide many ecosystem services valued by society. However, populations have declined globally with most declines linked to habitat change. Wetlands and surrounding terrestrial grasslands form habitat for amphibians in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Wetland drainage and grassland conversion have destroyed or degraded much amphibian habitat in the PPR. However, conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining grasslands on agricultural lands. We used an ecosystem services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify amphibian habitat over a six-year period (2007–2012). We then quantified changes in availability of amphibian habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2012 levels. The area of optimal amphibian habitat in the four PPR ecoregions modeled (i.e., Northern Glaciated Plains, Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Lake Agassiz Plain, Des Moines Lobe) declined by approximately 22%, from 3.8 million ha in 2007 to 2.9 million ha in 2012. These losses were driven by the conversion of CRP grasslands to croplands, primarily for corn and soybean production. Our modeling identified an additional 0.8 million ha (26%) of optimal amphibian habitat that would be lost if remaining CRP lands are returned to crop production. An economic climate favoring commodity production over conservation has resulted in substantial losses of amphibian habitat across the PPR that will likely continue into the future. Other regions of the world face similar challenges to maintaining amphibian habitats.

  8. Host species vary in infection probability, sub-lethal effects, and costs of immune response when exposed to an amphibian parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bielby, Jon; Fisher, Matthew C; Clare, Frances C; Rosa, Gonçalo M; Garner, Trenton W J

    2015-01-01

    The amphibian parasite Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is regarded as an extreme generalist, infecting over 500 species, but amongst these hosts there exists a great deal of variation in the susceptibility to and the costs of parasite exposure. We use two infection experiments to determine whether inter-specific variation in the sublethal and lethal effects of parasite exposure exist in two host species. We then tested the relative roles of host density and diversity on infection probability of a focal susceptible host. Our results show significant heterogeneity in host species response to parasite exposure, and that both lethal and sub-lethal costs exist in individuals that are able to resist infection, indicating that successful immune response to infection comes at a cost. Further, we show that increasing host density significantly increased the likelihood of susceptible individuals becoming infected with Bd irrespective of host diversity and variation in host susceptibility. These results suggest that populations of resistant species are likely to suffer ill-effects of exposure to Bd regardless of their infection status, and that at the stage of initial infection there was no support for the dilution of transmission events, in contrast to other studies that focus on subsequent transmission of infection. PMID:26022346

  9. Ion transport by the amphibian primary ureter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møbjerg, Nadja

    2008-01-01

    Three kidney systems appear during vertebrate development - the pronephros, mesonephros and metanephros. A characteristic of vertebrate organogenesis is the development of a primary ureter in association with the pronephros. This duct forms the collecting duct system of the latter kidneys and it is......+] steps from 3 to 20 mmol/l and a hyperpolarization of Vm upon lowering [Na+] from 102 to 2 mmol/l, indicating the presence of luminal K+ and Na+ conductances. This study provides the first functional data on the vertebrate primary ureter. The data show that the primary ureter of axolotl larvae...... putative ion transport mechanisms in the primary ureter of the freshwater amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl). Primary ureters isolated from axolotl larvae were perfused in vitro and single cells were impaled across the basal cell membrane with glass microelectrodes. In 42 cells the membrane potential...

  10. AmphibiaChina: an online database of Chinese Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    CHE, Jing; WANG, Kai

    2016-01-01

    AmphibiaChina, an open-access, web-based database, is designed to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on Chinese amphibians. It offers an integrated module with six major sections. Compared to other known databases including AmphibiaWeb and Amphibian Species of the World, AmphibiaChina has the following new functions: (1) online species identification based on DNA barcode sequences; (2) comparisons and discussions of different major taxonomic systems; and (3) phylogenetic progress on Chinese amphibians. This database offers a window for the world to access available information of Chinese amphibians. AmphibiaChina with its Chinese version can be accessed at http://www.amphibiachina.org. PMID:26828034

  11. Metabolism of pesticides after dermal exposure to amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding how pesticide exposure to non-target species influences toxicity is necessary to accurately assess the ecological risks these compounds pose. Aquatic, terrestrial, and arboreal amphibians are often exposed to pesticides during their agricultural application resultin...

  12. ALIEN SPECIES: THEIR ROLE IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES AND RESTORATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alien species (also referred to as exotic, invasive, introduced, or normative species) have been implicated as causal agents in population declines of many amphibian species. Herein, we evaluate the relative contributions of alien species and other factors in adversely affecting ...

  13. Twenty years of ISAREN: an amphibian biologist in Wonderland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuyama, Sakae

    2010-09-01

    The 6th International Symposium on Amphibian and Reptilian Endocrinology and Neurobiology (ISAREN), the former International Symposium on Amphibian Endocrinology (ISAE), was recently held in Berlin. ISAREN developed from two symposia on amphibian biology held in European countries in 1988-1990. In this article, the history of ISAREN was briefly stated. In addition, some of the topics of our researches carried out in collaboration with several groups, using various amphibian species during the past 20 years and/or presented in the past symposia were reviewed. The topics included the discovery of pancreatic chitinase, involvement of growth hormone in vitellogenin synthesis, changes of ANF-like immunoreactivity in the frogs sent into the space, discovery of a peptide sex-pheromone, origin of the epithelial pituitary, and hypothalamic regulation of thyroid-stimulating hormone. PMID:20138045

  14. Nationwide Abnormal Amphibian Monitoring Project : Region 3 : Interim Report 2003

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In 2000, the FWSs Environmental Contaminants Program currently Environmental Quality Program received funding as part of the Department of Interiors Amphibian...

  15. Nationwide Abnormal Amphibian Monitoring Project : Region 3: 2002

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In 2000, the FWSs Environmental Contaminants Program currently Environmental Quality Program received funding as part of the Department of Interiors Amphibian...

  16. AmphibiaChina: an online database of Chinese Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Che, Jing; Wang, Kai

    2016-01-18

    AmphibiaChina, an open-access, web-based database, is designed to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on Chinese amphibians. It offers an integrated module with six major sections. Compared to other known databases including AmphibiaWeb and Amphibian Species of the World, AmphibiaChina has the following new functions: (1) online species identification based on DNA barcode sequences; (2) comparisons and discussions of different major taxonomic systems; and (3) phylogenetic progress on Chinese amphibians. This database offers a window for the world to access available information of Chinese amphibians. AmphibiaChina with its Chinese version can be accessed at http://www.amphibiachina.org. PMID:26828034

  17. Invasive and introduced reptiles and amphibians: Chapter 28

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Robert N.; Krysko, Kenneth L.

    2014-01-01

    Why is there a section on introduced amphibians and reptiles in this volume, and why should veterinarians care about this issue? Globally, invasive species are a major threat to the stability of native ecosystems,1,2 and amphibians and reptiles are attracting increased attention as potential invaders. Some introduced amphibians and reptiles have had a major impact (e.g., Brown Tree Snakes [Boiga irregularis] wiping out the native birds of Guam3 or Cane Toads [Rhinella marina] poisoning native Australian predators).4 For the vast majority of species, however, the ecological, economic, and sociopolitical effects of introduced amphibians and reptiles are generally poorly quantified, largely because of a lack of focused research effort rather than because such effects are nonexistent. This trend is alarming given that rates of introduction have increased exponentially in recent decades.

  18. Nationwide Abnormal Amphibian Monitoring Project : Region 3 : Interim Report 2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In 2000, the FWSs Environmental Contaminants Program currently Environmental Quality Program received funding as part of the Department of Interiors Amphibian...

  19. Declining amphibian populations: a global phenomenon in conservation biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gardner, T.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available The majority of the recent reductions in the Earth's biodiversity can be attributed to direct human impacts on the environment. An increasing number of studies over the last decade have reported declines in amphibian populations in areas of pristine habitat. Such reports suggest the role of indirect factors and a global effect of human activities on natural systems. Declines in amphibian populations bear significant implications for the functioning of many terrestrial ecosystems, and may signify important implications for human welfare. A wide range of candidates have been proposed to explain amphibian population declines. However, it seems likely that the relevance of each factor is dependent upon the habitat type and species in question, and that complex synergistic effects between a number of environmental factors is of critical importance. Monitoring of amphibian populations to assess the extent and cause of declines is confounded by a number of ecological and methodological limitations.

  20. Amphibian and Reptile Research on Coldwater National Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The management actions in the wildlife ponds on Coldwater National Wildlife Refuge create a highly variable and dynamic environment for amphibians and reptiles....

  1. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J; Miller, David A W; Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Grant, Evan H Campbell; Bailey, Larissa L; Fellers, Gary M; Fisher, Robert N; Sadinski, Walter J; Waddle, Hardin; Walls, Susan C

    2013-01-01

    Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized. PMID:23717602

  2. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Adams

    Full Text Available Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized.

  3. Coastal Resources Atlas: Long Island: REPTILES (Reptile and Amphibian Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for sea turtles, estuarine turtles, and amphibians for Long Island, New York. Vector polygons in this data...

  4. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J.; Miller, David A.W.; Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Bailey, Larissa L.; Fellers, Gary M.; Fisher, Robert N.; Sadinski, Walter J.; Waddle, Hardin; Walls, Susan C.

    2013-01-01

    Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized.

  5. Abnormal amphibians on U.S. National Wildlife Refuges

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This project contains a journal article, a news release, FAQs, a fact sheet, photos, and a dataset related to a 10-year study of amphibian abnormalities on U.S....

  6. Conservation needs of amphibians in China:A review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Michael; Wai; Neng; LAU; Simon; N; STUART; Janice; S; CHANSON; Neil; A; COX; Debra; L; FISCHMAN

    2007-01-01

    The conservation status of all the amphibians in China is analyzed,and the country is shown to be a global priority for conservation in comparison to many other countries of the world.Three Chinese regions are particularly rich in amphibian diversity:Hengduan,Nanling,and Wuyi mountains.Sala-manders are more threatened than frogs and toads.Several smaller families show a high propensity to become seriously threatened:Bombinatoridae,Cryptobranchidae,Hynobiidae and Salamandridae.Like other parts of the world,stream-breeding,high-elevation forest amphibians have a much higher likeli-hood of being seriously threatened.Habitat loss,pollution,and over-harvesting are the most serious threats to Chinese amphibians.Over-harvesting is a less pervasive threat than habitat loss,but it is more likely to drive a species into rapid decline.Five conservation challenges are mentioned with recommendations for the highest priority research and conservation actions.

  7. Non-invasive reproductive and stress endocrinology in amphibian conservation physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayan, E J

    2013-01-01

    Non-invasive endocrinology utilizes non-invasive biological samples (such as faeces, urine, hair, aquatic media, and saliva) for the quantification of hormones in wildlife. Urinary-based enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and radio-immunoassay have enabled the rapid quantification of reproductive and stress hormones in amphibians (Anura: Amphibia). With minimal disturbance, these methods can be used to assess the ovarian and testicular endocrine functions as well as physiological stress in captive and free-living populations. Non-invasive endocrine monitoring has therefore greatly advanced our knowledge of the functioning of the stress endocrine system (the hypothalamo-pituitary-interrenal axis) and the reproductive endocrine system (the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis) in the amphibian physiological stress response, reproductive ecology, health and welfare, and survival. Biological (physiological) validation is necessary for obtaining the excretory lag time of hormone metabolites. Urinary-based EIA for the major reproductive hormones, estradiol and progesterone in females and testosterone in males, can be used to track the reproductive hormone profiles in relationship to reproductive behaviour and environmental data in free-living anurans. Urinary-based corticosterone metabolite EIA can be used to assess the sublethal impacts of biological stressors (such as invasive species and pathogenic diseases) as well as anthropogenic induced environmental stressors (e.g. extreme temperatures) on free-living populations. Non-invasive endocrine methods can also assist in the diagnosis of success or failure of captive breeding programmes by measuring the longitudinal patterns of changes in reproductive hormones and corticosterone within captive anurans and comparing the endocrine profiles with health records and reproductive behaviour. This review paper focuses on the reproductive and the stress endocrinology of anurans and demonstrates the uses of non-invasive endocrinology for

  8. Hot Spots of Mercury Bioaccumulation in Amphibian Populations From the Conterminous United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bank, M. S.

    2008-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination in the United States (U.S.) is well-documented and continues to be a public- health issue of great concern. Fish consumption advisories have been issued throughout much of the U.S. due to elevated levels of methylmercury (MeHg). Methylmercury contamination in the developing fetus and in young children is a major public health issue for certain sectors of the global human population. Moreover, identifying MeHg hot spots and the effects of MeHg pollution on environmental health and biodiversity are also considered a high priority for land managers, risk assessors, and conservation scientists. Despite their overall biomass and importance to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, Hg and MeHg bioaccumulation dynamics and toxicity in amphibians are not well studied, especially when compared to other vertebrate taxa such as birds, mammals, and fish species. Population declines in amphibians are well documented and likely caused by synergistic and interacting, multiple stressors such as climate change, exposure to toxic pollutants, fungal pathogens, and habitat loss and ecosystem degradation. Protecting quality of terrestrial ecosystems in the U.S. has enormous ramifications for economic and public health of the nation's residents and is fundamental to maintaining the biotic integrity of surface waters, riparian zones, and environmental health of forested landscapes nationwide. Determining Hg concentration levels for terrestrial and surface water ecosystems also has important implications for protecting the nation's fauna. Here I present an overview of the National Amphibian Mercury Program and evaluate variation in MeHg hotspots, Hg bioaccumulation and distribution in freshwater and terrestrial habitats across a broad gradient of physical, climatic, biotic, and ecosystem settings to identify the environmental conditions and ecosystem types that are most sensitive to Hg pollution. The role of geography, disturbance mechanisms, and abiotic and biotic

  9. Composition of symbiotic bacteria predicts survival in Panamanian golden frogs infected with a lethal fungus

    OpenAIRE

    Matthew H Becker; Walke, Jenifer B.; Cikanek, Shawna; Savage, Anna E.; Mattheus, Nichole; Santiago, Celina N.; Minbiole, Kevin P. C.; Harris, Reid N.; Lisa K Belden; Gratwicke, Brian

    2015-01-01

    Symbiotic microbes can dramatically impact host health and fitness, and recent research in a diversity of systems suggests that different symbiont community structures may result in distinct outcomes for the host. In amphibians, some symbiotic skin bacteria produce metabolites that inhibit the growth of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a cutaneous fungal pathogen that has caused many amphibian population declines and extinctions. Treatment with beneficial bacteria (probiotics) prevents Bd...

  10. AmphibiaChina: an online database of Chinese Amphibians

    OpenAIRE

    CHE, Jing; Wang, Kai

    2016-01-01

    AmphibiaChina, an open-access, web-based database, is designed to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on Chinese amphibians. It offers an integrated module with six major sections. Compared to other known databases including AmphibiaWeb and Amphibian Species of the World, AmphibiaChina has the following new functions: (1) online species identification based on DNA barcode sequences; (2) comparisons and discussions of different major taxonomic systems; and (3) phylogenetic progres...

  11. Amphibian and reptile distribution in forests adjacent to watercourses

    OpenAIRE

    Olsson, Cecilia

    2008-01-01

    Worldwide amphibians and reptiles are declining with habitat fragmentation and destruction as the primary cause. Riparian areas are important for the herpetofauna, but as land is converted to agriculture or harvested for timber the areas are diminishing. The aim of this study was to examine amphibian and reptile abundance in relation to distance from water and in relation to habitat characteristics, foremost per cent deciduous trees. The survey was conducted during spring at six different loc...

  12. Effects of Terrestrial Buffer Zones on Amphibians on Golf Courses

    OpenAIRE

    Puglis, Holly J.; Boone, Michelle D.

    2012-01-01

    A major cause of amphibian declines worldwide is habitat destruction or alteration. Public green spaces, such as golf courses and parks, could serve as safe havens to curb the effects of habitat loss if managed in ways to bolster local amphibian communities. We reared larval Blanchard's cricket frogs (Acris blanchardi) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) in golf course ponds with and without 1 m terrestrial buffer zones, and released marked cricket frog metamorphs at the golf course ponds they w...

  13. A preliminary report of amphibian mortality patterns on railways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karolina A. Budzik

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In contrast to road mortality, little is known about amphibian railroad mortality. The aim of this study was to quantify amphibian mortality along a railway line as well as to investigate the relationship between the availability of breeding sites in the surrounding habitats and the monthly variation of amphibian railway mortality. The study was conducted from April to July 2011 along 45 km of the railway line Kraków - Tarnów (Poland, Małopolska province. Three species were affected by railway mortality: Bufo bufo, Rana temporaria and Pelophylax kl. esculentus. Most dead individuals (77% were adult common toads. The largest number (14 of amphibian breeding sites was located in the most heterogeneous habitats (woodland and rural areas, which coincides with the sectors of highest amphibian mortality (42% of all accidents. As in the case of roads, spring migration is the period of highest amphibian mortality (87% of all accidents on railroads. Our findings suggest that railroad mortality depends on the agility of the species, associated primarily with the ability to overcome the rails.

  14. Cutaneous bacterial species from Lithobates catesbeianus can inhibit pathogenic dermatophytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauer, Antje; Hernandez, Trang

    2015-04-01

    Antibiotics are being successfully used to fight many infectious diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms. However, new infectious diseases are continuously being identified, and some known pathogens are becoming resistant against known antibiotics. Furthermore, many antifungals are causing serious side effects in long-term treatments of patients, and many skin infections caused by dermatophytes are difficult to cure. The beneficial roles of resident cutaneous microbiota to inhibit pathogenic microorganisms have been shown for many vertebrate species. Microbial symbionts on the amphibian skin for example can be a source of powerful antimicrobial metabolites that can protect amphibians against diseases, such as chytridiomycosis, caused by a fungal pathogen. In this research, we investigated whether cutaneous bacterial species isolated from Lithobates catesbeianus (North American bullfrog), an invasive amphibian species that is resistant to chytridiomycosis, produce secondary metabolites that can be used to inhibit the growth of three species of dermatophytes (Microsporum gypseum, Epidermophyton floccosum, and Trichophyton mentagrophytes) which are known to cause topical or subdermal skin infections in humans. Strongly anti-dermatophyte bacterial species that belonged to the Bacillaceae, Streptomycetaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, Xanthomonadaceae, Aeromonadaceae, and Enterobacteriaceae were identified. This research has provided evidence of the presence of cutaneous anti-dermatophyte bacteria from L. catesbeianus which might provide a basis for health care providers to experiment with new antifungals in the future. PMID:25431089

  15. The Amphibian Extinction Crisis - what will it take to put the action into the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan?

    OpenAIRE

    Bishop, P J; Angulo, A; Lewis, J P; Moore, R D; Rabb, G. B.; Moreno, J. Garcia

    2012-01-01

    The current mass extinction episode is most apparent in the amphibians. With approximately 7,000 species, amphibians are dependent on clean fresh water and damp habitats and are considered vulnerable to habitat loss (deforestation), changes in water or soil quality and the potential impacts of climate change, and in addition many species are suffering from an epidemic caused by a chytrid fungus. Because of their sensitivity and general dependence on both terrestrial and aquatic habitats they ...

  16. Translocations of amphibians: Proven management method or experimental technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seigel, Richard A.; Dodd, C. Kenneth, Jr.

    2002-01-01

    In an otherwise excellent review of metapopulation dynamics in amphibians, Marsh and Trenham (2001) make the following provocative statements (emphasis added): If isolation effects occur primarily in highly disturbed habitats, species translocations may be necessary to promote local and regional population persistence. Because most amphibians lack parental care, they areprime candidates for egg and larval translocations. Indeed, translocations have already proven successful for several species of amphibians. Where populations are severely isolated, translocations into extinct subpopulations may be the best strategy to promote regional population persistence. We take issue with these statements for a number of reasons. First, the authors fail to cite much of the relevant literature on species translocations in general and for amphibians in particular. Second, to those unfamiliar with current research in amphibian conservation biology, these comments might suggest that translocations are a proven management method. This is not the case, at least in most instances where translocations have been evaluated for an appropriate period of time. Finally, the authors fail to point out some of the negative aspects of species translocation as a management method. We realize that Marsh and Trenham's paper was not concerned primarily with translocations. However, because Marsh and Trenham (2001) made specific recommendations for conservation planners and managers (many of whom are not herpetologists or may not be familiar with the pertinent literature on amphibians), we believe that it is essential to point out that not all amphibian biologists are as comfortable with translocations as these authors appear to be. We especially urge caution about advocating potentially unproven techniques without a thorough review of available options.

  17. Energy and water in aestivating amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, José E; Navas, Carlos A; Pereira, Isabel C

    2010-01-01

    The physiological mechanisms, behavioral adjustments, and ecological associations that allow animal species to live in extreme environments have evoked the attention of many zoologists. Often, extreme environments are defined as those believed to be limiting to life in terms of water, energetic availability, and temperature. These three elements seem extreme in a number of arid and semi-arid settings that even so have been colonized by amphibians. Because this taxon is usually seen as the quintessential water-dependent ectotherm tetrapods, their presence in a number of semi-arid environments poses a number of intriguing questions regarding microhabitat choice and physiological plasticity, particularly regarding the ecological and physiological correlates of behaviors granting avoidance of the harshest conditions of semi-arid environments. Such avoidance states, generally associated to the concept of aestivation, are currently seen as a diverse and complex phenomena varying from species to species and involving numerous behavioral and metabolic adjustments that enhance survival during the drought. This chapter reviews the physiological ecology of anuran aestivation, mainly from the perspective of water and energy balance. PMID:20069408

  18. Amphibian populations in the terrestrial environment: Is there evidence of declines of terrestrial forest amphibians in northwestern California?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, H.H., Jr.; Fellers, G.M.; Lind, A.J.

    2007-01-01

    Amphibian declines have been documented worldwide; however the vast majority are species associated with aquatic habitats. Information on the status and trends of terrestrial amphibians is almost entirely lacking. Here we use data collected across a 12-yr period (sampling from 1984-86 and from 1993-95) to address the question of whether evidence exists for declines among terrestrial amphibians in northwestern California forests. The majority of amphibians, both species and relative numbers, in these forests are direct-developing salamanders of the family Plethodontidae. We examined amphibian richness and evenness, and the relative abundances of the four most common species of plethodontid salamanders. We examined evidence of differences between years in two ecological provinces (coastal and interior) and across young, mature, and late seral forests and with reference to a moisture gradient from xeric to hydric within late seral forests. We found evidence of declines in species richness across years on late seral mesic stands and in the coastal ecological province, but these differences appeared to be caused by differences in the detection of rarer species, rather than evidence of an overall pattern. We also found differences among specific years in numbers of individuals of the most abundant species, Ensatina eschscholtzii, but these differences also failed to reflect a consistent pattern of declines between the two decadal sample periods. Results showing differences in richness, evenness, and relative abundances along both the seral and moisture continua were consistent with previous research. Overall, we found no compelling evidence of a downward trend in terrestrial plethodontid salamanders. We believe that continued monitoring of terrestrial salamander populations is important to understanding mechanisms of population declines in amphibian species. Copyright 2007 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  19. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.W. Taylor

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Fish and amphibians utilise a suction/force pump to ventilate gills or lungs, with the respiratory muscles innervated by cranial nerves, while reptiles have a thoracic, aspiratory pump innervated by spinal nerves. However, fish can recruit a hypobranchial pump for active jaw occlusion during hypoxia, using feeding muscles innervated by anterior spinal nerves. This same pump is used to ventilate the air-breathing organ in air-breathing fishes. Some reptiles retain a buccal force pump for use during hypoxia or exercise. All vertebrates have respiratory rhythm generators (RRG located in the brainstem. In cyclostomes and possibly jawed fishes, this may comprise elements of the trigeminal nucleus, though in the latter group RRG neurons have been located in the reticular formation. In air-breathing fishes and amphibians, there may be separate RRG for gill and lung ventilation. There is some evidence for multiple RRG in reptiles. Both amphibians and reptiles show episodic breathing patterns that may be centrally generated, though they do respond to changes in oxygen supply. Fish and larval amphibians have chemoreceptors sensitive to oxygen partial pressure located on the gills. Hypoxia induces increased ventilation and a reflex bradycardia and may trigger aquatic surface respiration or air-breathing, though these latter activities also respond to behavioural cues. Adult amphibians and reptiles have peripheral chemoreceptors located on the carotid arteries and central chemoreceptors sensitive to blood carbon dioxide levels. Lung perfusion may be regulated by cardiac shunting and lung ventilation stimulates lung stretch receptors.

  20. A Place to Call Home: Amphibian Use of Created and Restored Wetlands

    OpenAIRE

    BROWN, DONALD J.; Garrett M. Street; Robert W. Nairn; Forstner, Michael R. J.

    2012-01-01

    Loss and degradation of wetland habitats are major contributing factors to the global decline of amphibians. Creation and restoration of wetlands could be a valuable tool for increasing local amphibian species richness and abundance. We synthesized the peer-reviewed literature addressing amphibian use of created and restored wetlands, focusing on aquatic habitat, upland habitat, and wetland connectivity and configuration. Amphibian species richness or abundance at created and restored wetland...

  1. Hormonal regulation of ion and water transport in anuran amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchiyama, Minoru; Konno, Norifumi

    2006-05-15

    Amphibians occupy a wide variety of ecological habitats, and their adaptation is made possible through the specialization of the epithelia of their osmoregulatory organs, such as the skin, kidney, and urinary bladder, which control the hydromineral and acid-base balance of their internal medium. Amphibians can change drastically plasma Na+, Cl-, and urea levels and excretion rates in response to environmental stimuli such as acute desiccation and changes in external salinity. Several hormones and the autonomic nervous system act to control osmoregulation. Several ion channels including an epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), a urea transporter (UT), and water channels (AQPs) are found in epithelial tissues of their osmoregulatory organs. This mini review examines the currents status of our knowledge about hormone receptors for arginine vasotocin, angiotensin II and aldosterone, and membrane ion channels and transporters, such as ENaC, UT, and AQPs in amphibians. PMID:16472810

  2. Spatial network structure and amphibian persistence in stochastic environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortuna, Miguel A; Gómez-Rodríguez, Carola; Bascompte, Jordi

    2006-01-01

    In the past few years, the framework of complex networks has provided new insight into the organization and function of biological systems. However, in spite of its potential, spatial ecology has not yet fully incorporated tools and concepts from network theory. In the present study, we identify a large spatial network of temporary ponds, which are used as breeding sites by several amphibian species. We investigate how the structural properties of the spatial network change as a function of the amphibian dispersal distance and the hydric conditions. Our measures of network topology suggest that the observed spatial structure of ponds is robust to drought (compared with similar random structures), allowing the movement of amphibians to and between flooded ponds, and hence, increasing the probability of reproduction even in dry seasons. PMID:16777733

  3. Amphibians of the Simbruini Mountains (Latium, Central Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierangelo Crucitti

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Little attention has been paid to the herpetological fauna of the Simbruini Mountains Regional Park, Latium (Central Italy. In this study, we surveyed 50 sites in the course of about ten years of field research, especially during the period 2005-2008. Nine amphibian species, four Caudata and five Anura, 60.0% out of the 15 amphibian species so far observed in Latium, were discovered in the protected area: Salamandra salamandra, Salamandrina perspicillata, Lissotriton vulgaris, Triturus carnifex, Bombina pachypus, Bufo balearicus, Bufo bufo, Rana dalmatina, Rana italica. Physiography of sites has been detailed together with potential threatening patterns. For each species the following topics have been discussed; ecology of sites, altitudinal distribution, phenology, sintopy. Salamandra salamandra and Bombina pachypus are at higher risk. The importance of the maintenance of artificial/natural water bodies for the conservation management of amphibian population of this territory is discussed.

  4. Can a Single Amphibian Species Be a Good Biodiversity Indicator?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Sewell

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Although amphibians have been widely promoted as indicators of biodiversity and environmental change, rigorous tests are lacking. Here key indicator criteria are distilled from published papers, and a species that has been promoted as a bioindicator, the great crested newt, is tested against them. Although a link was established between the presence of great crested newts and aquatic plant diversity, this was not repeated with the diversity of macroinvertebrates. Equally, amphibians do not meet many of the published criteria of bioindicators. Our research suggests that a suite of indicators, rather than a single species, will usually be required.

  5. Ontogenetic pattern change in amphibians: the case of Salamandra corsica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wouter Beukema

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Ontogenetic, post-metamorphic pattern development is a rarely studied topic in amphibian science. As there are indications that the pattern of Salamandra corsica might expand over time, digital image analyses were applied in order to measure several phenotypical variables which were related to the snout vent length. Results show a significant increase of patches which change to irregular shapes while SVL increases. Digital image analysis is identified as a suitable tool to explore pattern shape and change in general, while the documented pattern development in S. corsica might be one of the first quantified cases of post-metamorphic ontogenetic pattern change in amphibians.

  6. Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Oliveira-Filho, Edmilson F; Soares, Fábio Angelo M; Souza, Bruno O F; Valença, Raul Baltazar P; Sá, Fabrício B

    2008-01-01

    Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in the State of Pernambuco are reviewed, based on the current literature and new collections recently carried out by the authors. To date, three tick species have been found on amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco. Amblyomma fuscum appears to be exclusively associated with Boa constrictor, its type host. Amblyomma rotundatum has a relatively low host-specificity, being found on toads, snakes, and iguana. Amblyomma dissimile has been found on a lizard and also small mammals (i.e., rodents and marsupials). New tick-host associations and locality records are given. PMID:19265581

  7. Equilibrium of global amphibian species distributions with climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munguí­a, Mariana; Rahbek, Carsten; Rangel, Thiago F.; Diniz-Filho, Jose Alexandre F.; Bastos Araujo, Miguel

    2012-01-01

    not be at equilibrium with contemporary climate. On average, amphibians occupied 30% to 57% of their potential distributions. Although patterns differed across regions, there were no significant differences among lineages. Species in the Neotropic, Afrotropics, Indo-Malay, and Palaearctic occupied a...... complete lineage across its entire distribution. We measure departures of equilibrium with contemporary climate for the distributions of the world amphibian species. Specifically, we fitted bioclimatic envelopes for 5544 species using three presence-only models. We then measured the proportion of the...

  8. Slow dynamics of the amphibian tympanic membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergevin, Christopher; Meenderink, Sebastiaan W. F.; van der Heijden, Marcel; Narins, Peter M.

    2015-12-01

    Several studies have demonstrated that delays associated with evoked otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) largely originate from filter delays of resonant elements in the inner ear. However, one vertebrate group is an exception: Anuran (frogs and toads) amphibian OAEs exhibit relatively long delays (several milliseconds), yet relatively broad tuning. These delays, also apparent in auditory nerve fiber (ANF) responses, have been partially attributed to the middle ear (ME), with a total forward delay of ˜0.7 ms (˜30 times longer than in gerbil). However, ME forward delays only partially account for the longer delays of OAEs and ANF responses. We used scanning laser Doppler vibrometery to map surface velocity over the tympanic membrane (TyM) of anesthetized bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana). Our main finding is a circularly-symmetric wave on the TyM surface, starting at the outer edges of the TyM and propagating inward towards the center (the site of the ossicular attachment). This wave exists for frequencies ˜0.75-3 kHz, overlapping the range of bullfrog hearing (˜0.05-1.7 kHz). Group delays associated with this wave varied from 0.4 to 1.2 ms and correlated with with TyM diameter, which ranged from ˜6-16 mm. These delays correspond well to those from previous ME measurements. Presumably the TyM waves stem from biomechanical constraints of semi-aquatic species with a relatively large tympanum. We investigated some of these constraints by measuring the pressure ratio across the TyM (˜10-30 dB drop, delay of ˜0.35 ms), the effects of ossicular interruption, the changes due to physiological state of TyM (`dry-out'), and by calculating the middle-ear input impedance. In summary, we found a slow, inward-traveling wave on the TyM surface that accounts for a substantial fraction of the relatively long otoacoustic and neurophysiological delays previously observed in the anuran inner ear.

  9. Comparative Genomics of an Emerging Amphibian Virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Brendan; Storfer, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Ranaviruses, a genus of the Iridoviridae, are large double-stranded DNA viruses that infect cold-blooded vertebrates worldwide. Ranaviruses have caused severe epizootics in commercial frog and fish populations, and are currently classified as notifiable pathogens in international trade. Previous work shows that a ranavirus that infects tiger salamanders throughout Western North America (Ambystoma tigrinum virus, or ATV) is in high prevalence among salamanders in the fishing bait trade. Bait ATV strains have elevated virulence and are transported long distances by humans, providing widespread opportunities for pathogen pollution. We sequenced the genomes of 15 strains of ATV collected from tiger salamanders across western North America and performed phylogenetic and population genomic analyses and tests for recombination. We find that ATV forms a monophyletic clade within the rest of the Ranaviruses and that it likely emerged within the last several thousand years, before human activities influenced its spread. We also identify several genes under strong positive selection, some of which appear to be involved in viral virulence and/or host immune evasion. In addition, we provide support for the pathogen pollution hypothesis with evidence of recombination among ATV strains, and potential bait-endemic strain recombination. PMID:26530419

  10. Factors contributing to amphibian road mortality in a wetland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haijun GU, Qiang DAI, Qian WANG, Yuezhao WANG

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available To understand road characteristics and landscape features associated with high road mortality of amphibians in Zoige Wetland National Nature Reserve, we surveyed road mortality along four major roads after rainfall in May and September 2007. Road mortality of three species, Rana kukunoris, Nanorana pleskei and Bufo minshanicus, was surveyed across 225 transects (115 in May and 110 in September. Transects were 100 m long and repeated every two kilometers along the four major roads. We used model averaging to assess factors that might determine amphibian road mortality. We recorded an average of 24.6 amphibian road mortalities per kilometer in May and 19.2 in September. Among road characteristics, road width was positively associated with road morality for R. kukunori and B. minshanicus. Traffic volume also increased the road mortality of B. minshanicus in September. Of the landscape features measured, area proportions of three types of grassland (wet, mesic and dry within 1 km of the roads, particularly that of wet grassland, significantly increased road mortality for R. kukunori and total mortality across all three species. To most effectively reduce road mortality of amphibians in the Zoige wetlands, we suggest better road design such as avoiding wet grasslands, minimizing road width, underground passes and traffic control measures. The implementation of public transit in the area would reduce traffic volume, and hence mortality [Current Zoology 57 (6: 768–774, 2011].

  11. Salmonella Infections Caused by Reptiles and Amphibians in Childcare Centers

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2013-02-07

    Dr. Neil Vora, an EIS Officer at CDC, discusses his article about Salmonella infections in childcare centers caused by reptiles and amphibians.  Created: 2/7/2013 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 2/7/2013.

  12. Measuring the meltdown: drivers of global amphibian extinction and decline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Navjot S Sodhi

    Full Text Available Habitat loss, climate change, over-exploitation, disease and other factors have been hypothesised in the global decline of amphibian biodiversity. However, the relative importance of and synergies among different drivers are still poorly understood. We present the largest global analysis of roughly 45% of known amphibians (2,583 species to quantify the influences of life history, climate, human density and habitat loss on declines and extinction risk. Multi-model Bayesian inference reveals that large amphibian species with small geographic range and pronounced seasonality in temperature and precipitation are most likely to be Red-Listed by IUCN. Elevated habitat loss and human densities are also correlated with high threat risk. Range size, habitat loss and more extreme seasonality in precipitation contributed to decline risk in the 2,454 species that declined between 1980 and 2004, compared to species that were stable (n = 1,545 or had increased (n = 28. These empirical results show that amphibian species with restricted ranges should be urgently targeted for conservation.

  13. Rayleigh instability of the inverted one-cell amphibian embryo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nouri, Comron; Luppes, Roel; Veldman, Arthur E.P.; Tuszynski, Jack A.; Gordon, Richard

    2008-01-01

    The one-cell amphibian embryo is modeled as a rigid spherical shell containing equal volumes of two immiscible fluids with different densities and viscosities and a surface tension between them. The fluids represent denser yolk in the bottom hemisphere and clearer cytoplasm and the germinal vesicle

  14. Using Reptile and Amphibian Activities in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasek, Terry; Matthews, Catherine E.

    2008-01-01

    Reptiles and amphibians are a diverse and interesting group of organisms. The four activities described in this article take students' curiosity into the realm of scientific understanding. The activities involve the concepts of species identification; animal adaptations, communication, and habitat; and conservation. (Contains 1 table and 2…

  15. Preliminary checklist of amphibians and reptiles from Baramita, Guyana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R.P.; MacCulloch, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    We provide an initial checklist of the herpetofauna of Baramita, a lowland rainforest site in the Northwest Region of Guyana. Twenty-five amphibian and 28 reptile species were collected during two separate dry-season visits. New country records for two species of snakes are documented, contributing to the knowledge on the incompletely known herpetofauna of Guyana.

  16. Factors contributing to amphibian road mortality in a wetland

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Haijun GU; Qiang DAI; Qian WANG; Yuezhao WANG

    2011-01-01

    To understand road characteristics and landscape features associated with high road mortality of amphibians in Zoige Wetland National Nature Reserve,we surveyed road mortality along four major roads after rainfall in May and September 2007.Road mortality of three species,Rana kukunoris,Nanorana pleskei and Bufo minshanicus,was surveyed across 225 transects (115 in May and 110 in September).Transects were 100 m long and repeated every two kilometers along the four major roads.We used model averaging to assess factors that might determine amphibian road mortality.We recorded an average of 24.6 amphibian road mortalities per kilometer in May and 19.2 in September.Among road characteristics,road width was positively associated with road morality for R.kukunori and B.minshanicus.Traffic volume also increased the road mortality of B.minshanicus in September.Of the landscape features measured,area proportions of three types of grassland (wet,mesic and dry) within 1 km of the roads,particularly that of wet grassland,significantly increased road mortality for R.kukunori and total mortality across all three species.To most effectively reduce road mortality of amphibians in the Zoige wetlands,we suggest better road design such as avoiding wet grasslands,minimizing road width,underground passes and traffic control measures.The implementation of public transit in the area would reduce traffic volume,and hence mortality [Current Zoology 57 (6):768-774,2011].

  17. Emerging contaminants and their potential effects on amphibians and reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serious threats to the health and sustainability of global amphibian populations have been well documented over the last few decades. Encroachment upon and destruction of primary habitat is the most critical threat, but some species have disappeared while their habitat remains. Additional stressor...

  18. Effects of terrestrial buffer zones on amphibians on golf courses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly J Puglis

    Full Text Available A major cause of amphibian declines worldwide is habitat destruction or alteration. Public green spaces, such as golf courses and parks, could serve as safe havens to curb the effects of habitat loss if managed in ways to bolster local amphibian communities. We reared larval Blanchard's cricket frogs (Acris blanchardi and green frogs (Rana clamitans in golf course ponds with and without 1 m terrestrial buffer zones, and released marked cricket frog metamorphs at the golf course ponds they were reared in. Larval survival of both species was affected by the presence of a buffer zone, with increased survival for cricket frogs and decreased survival for green frogs when reared in ponds with buffer zones. No marked cricket frog juveniles were recovered at any golf course pond in the following year, suggesting that most animals died or migrated. In a separate study, we released cricket frogs in a terrestrial pen and allowed them to choose between mown and unmown grass. Cricket frogs had a greater probability of using unmown versus mown grass. Our results suggest that incorporating buffer zones around ponds can offer suitable habitat for some amphibian species and can improve the quality of the aquatic environment for some sensitive local amphibians.

  19. Toxicity of road salt to Nova Scotia amphibians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The deposition of chemical pollutants into roadside wetlands from runoff is a current environmental concern. In northern latitudes, a major pollutant in runoff water is salt (NaCl), used as de-icing agents. In this study, 26 roadside ponds were surveyed for amphibian species richness and chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests (LC50) were performed on five locally common amphibian species using a range of environmentally significant NaCl concentrations. Field surveys indicated that spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) did not occupy high chloride ponds. American toads (Bufo americanus) showed no pond preference based on chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests showed spotted salamanders and wood frogs were most sensitive to chloride, and American toads were the least. Spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) showed intermediate sensitivities. We concluded that chloride concentrations in ponds due to application of de-icing salts, influenced community structure by excluding salt intolerant species. - Salt toxicity is presented as a mechanism affecting the distribution of amphibians and structure of amphibian communities in roadside wetlands

  20. Climate change and amphibian diversity patterns in Mexico

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ochoa-Ochoa, Leticia M.; Rodríguez, Pilar; Mora, Franz;

    2012-01-01

    of presence and dispersal capability) in the modelling processes. We simulated the base line (2000) and future scenarios for Mexican amphibian diversity (2020, 2050, 2080), using climate data layers constructed for Mexico. Using moving-window analyses of different sizes (9, 25, 100, 225 and 400 km2) we...

  1. Road ecology and Neotropical amphibians: contributions for future studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Eveline Ribeiro D'Anunciação

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Many species of amphibians have suffered serious population declines. Several factors contribute separately or jointly to these declines. However, the reduction of an available habitat due to human expansion is still the main cause, and roads are a major mean for this expansion. Both the construction phase and the subsequent use of roads have negative consequences for amphibians. We reviewed the literature on the subject within the Neotropical context. To this end, the paper begins with a summary of recent reviews and proceeds through an analysis of sampling methods used in roadkill studies, mitigation measures and the Neotropical scenario and concludes with several suggestions to guide future studies. More attention will be given to roadkills, which is one of the primary impacts on wildlife that is caused by roads. Even in the Neotropical zone most studies are foot-based, the richness and abundance of amphibians affected are higher in regions outside the Neotropics. One possible explanation is that in the other regions, the proportion of studies exclusively on amphibians is bigger. Regarding mitigation measures, most studies only indicates what should be used, but do not implement or evaluate their effectiveness.

  2. Spatial Biodiversity Patterns of Madagascar's Amphibians and Reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Jason L; Sillero, Neftali; Glaw, Frank; Bora, Parfait; Vieites, David R; Vences, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800-1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling, i.e., the amount of

  3. Projected climate impacts for the amphibians of the western hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawler, Joshua J.; Shafer, Sarah L.; Bancroft, Betsy A.; Blaustein, Andrew R.

    2010-01-01

    Given their physiological requirements, limited dispersal abilities, and hydrologically sensitive habitats, amphibians are likely to be highly sensitive to future climatic changes. We used three approaches to map areas in the western hemisphere where amphibians are particularly likely to be affected by climate change. First, we used bioclimatic models to project potential climate-driven shifts in the distribution of 413 amphibian species based on 20 climate simulations for 2071–2100. We summarized these projections to produce estimates of species turnover. Second, we mapped the distribution of 1099 species with restricted geographic ranges. Finally, using the 20 future climate-change simulations, we mapped areas that were consistently projected to receive less seasonal precipitation in the coming century and thus were likely to have altered microclimates and local hydrologies. Species turnover was projected to be highest in the Andes Mountains and parts of Central America and Mexico, where, on average, turnover rates exceeded 60% under the lower of two emissions scenarios. Many of the restricted-range species not included in our range-shift analyses were concentrated in parts of the Andes and Central America and in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Much of Central America, southwestern North America, and parts of South America were consistently projected to experience decreased precipitation by the end of the century. Combining the results of the three analyses highlighted several areas in which amphibians are likely to be significantly affected by climate change for multiple reasons. Portions of southern Central America were simultaneously projected to experience high species turnover, have many additional restricted-range species, and were consistently projected to receive less precipitation. Together, our three analyses form one potential assessment of the geographic vulnerability of amphibians to climate change and as such provide broad-scale guidance for directing

  4. Inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Death Valley National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.

    2006-01-01

    As part of the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program in the Mojave Network, we conducted an inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Death Valley National Park in 2002-04. Objectives for this inventory were to: 1) Inventory and document the occurrence of reptile and amphibian species occurring at DEVA, primarily within priority sampling areas, with the goal of documenting at least 90% of the species present; 2) document (through collection or museum specimen and literature review) one voucher specimen for each species identified; 3) provide a GIS-referenced list of sensitive species that are federally or state listed, rare, or worthy of special consideration that occur within priority sampling locations; 4) describe park-wide distribution of federally- or state-listed, rare, or special concern species; 5) enter all species data into the National Park Service NPSpecies database; and 6) provide all deliverables as outlined in the Mojave Network Biological Inventory Study Plan. Methods included daytime and nighttime visual encounter surveys, road driving, and pitfall trapping. Survey effort was concentrated in predetermined priority sampling areas, as well as in areas with a high potential for detecting undocumented species. We recorded 37 species during our surveys, including two species new to the park. During literature review and museum specimen database searches, we recorded three additional species from DEVA, elevating the documented species list to 40 (four amphibians and 36 reptiles). Based on our surveys, as well as literature and museum specimen review, we estimate an overall inventory completeness of 92% for Death Valley and an inventory completeness of 73% for amphibians and 95% for reptiles. Key Words: Amphibians, reptiles, Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, San Bernardino County, Esmeralda County, Nye County, California, Nevada, Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, inventory, NPSpecies.

  5. Development of a mobile application for amphibian species recognition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The smartphones mobility and its pervasiveness are beginning to transform practices in biodiversity conservation. The integrated functionalities of a smartphone have created for the public and biodiversity specialists means to identify, gather and record biodiversity data while simultaneously creating knowledge portability in the digital forms of mobile guides. Smartphones enable beginners to recreate the delight of species identification usually reserved for specialist with years of experience. Currently, the advent of Android platform has enabled stakeholders in biodiversity to harness the ubiquity of this platform and create various types of mobile application or ''apps'' for use in biodiversity research and conservation. However, there is an apparent lack of application devoted to the identification in herpetofauna or amphibian science. Amphibians are a large class of animals with many different species still unidentified under this category. Here we describe the development of an app called Amphibian Recognition Android Application (ARAA) to identify frog amphibian species as well as an accompanying field guide. The app has the amphibian taxonomic key which assists the users in easy and rapid species identification, thus facilitating the process of identification and recording of species occurrences in conservation work. We will also present an overview of the application work flow and how it is designed to meet the needs a conservationist. As this application is still in its beta phase, further research is required to improve the application to include tools such automatic geolocation and geotagging, participative sensing via crowdsourcing and automated identification via image capture. We believe that the introduction of this app will create an impetus to the awareness of nature via species identification

  6. Thermoregulatory behaviour affects prevalence of chytrid fungal infection in a wild population of Panamanian golden frogs

    OpenAIRE

    Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L.

    2009-01-01

    Predicting how climate change will affect disease dynamics requires an understanding of how the environment affects host–pathogen interactions. For amphibians, global declines and extinctions have been linked to a pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Using a combination of body temperature measurements and disease assays conducted before and after the arrival of B. dendrobatidis, this study tested the hypothesis that body temperature affects the prevalence of infection i...

  7. Pathophysiology in mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa during a chytridiomycosis outbreak.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie Voyles

    Full Text Available The disease chytridiomycosis is responsible for declines and extirpations of amphibians worldwide. Chytridiomycosis is caused by a fungal pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis that infects amphibian skin. Although we have a basic understanding of the pathophysiology from laboratory experiments, many mechanistic details remain unresolved and it is unknown if disease development is similar in wild amphibian populations. To gain a better understanding of chytridiomycosis pathophysiology in wild amphibian populations, we collected blood biochemistry measurements during an outbreak in mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. We found that pathogen load is associated with disruptions in fluid and electrolyte balance, yet is not associated with fluctuations acid-base balance. These findings enhance our knowledge of the pathophysiology of this disease and indicate that disease development is consistent across multiple species and in both laboratory and natural conditions. We recommend integrating an understanding of chytridiomycosis pathophysiology with mitigation practices to improve amphibian conservation.

  8. Special Issue: Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Gregory Chinchar

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Although viruses infecting and affecting humans are the focus of considerable research effort, viruses that target other animal species, including cold-blooded vertebrates, are receiving increased attention. In part this reflects the interests of comparative virologists, but increasingly it is based on the impact that many viruses have on ecologically and commercially important animals. Frogs and other amphibians are sentinels of environmental health and their disappearance following viral or fungal (chytrid infection is a cause for alarm. Likewise, because aquaculture and mariculture are providing an increasingly large percentage of the “seafood” consumed by humans, viral agents that adversely impact the harvest of cultured fish and amphibians are of equal concern. [...

  9. The Current and Historical Distribution of Special Status Amphibians at the Livermore Site and Site 300

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hattem, M V; Paterson, L; Woollett, J

    2008-08-20

    65 surveys were completed in 2002 to assess the current distribution of special status amphibians at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Livermore Site and Site 300. Combined with historical information from previous years, the information presented herein illustrates the dynamic and probable risk that amphibian populations face at both sites. The Livermore Site is developed and in stark contrast to the mostly undeveloped Site 300. Yet both sites have significant issues threatening the long-term sustainability of their respective amphibian populations. Livermore Site amphibians are presented with a suite of challenges inherent of urban interfaces, most predictably the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), while Site 300's erosion issues and periodic feral pig (Sus scrofa) infestations reduce and threaten populations. The long-term sustainability of LLNL's special status amphibians will require active management and resource commitment to maintain and restore amphibian habitat at both sites.

  10. Spemann's organizer and self-regulation in amphibian embryos

    OpenAIRE

    De Robertis, Edward M

    2006-01-01

    In 1924, Spemann and Mangold demonstrated the induction of Siamese twins in transplantation experiments with salamander eggs. Recent work in amphibian embryos has followed their lead and uncovered that cells in signalling centres that are located at the dorsal and ventral poles of the gastrula embryo communicate with each other through a network of secreted growth-factor antagonists, a protease that degrades them, a protease inhibitor and bone-morphogenic-protein signals.

  11. Spemann's organizer and self-regulation in amphibian embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Robertis, Edward M

    2006-04-01

    In 1924, Spemann and Mangold demonstrated the induction of Siamese twins in transplantation experiments with salamander eggs. Recent work in amphibian embryos has followed their lead and uncovered that cells in signalling centres that are located at the dorsal and ventral poles of the gastrula embryo communicate with each other through a network of secreted growth-factor antagonists, a protease that degrades them, a protease inhibitor and bone-morphogenic-protein signals. PMID:16482093

  12. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles

    OpenAIRE

    Taylor, E. W.; C.A.C. Leite; D.J. McKenzie; T. Wang

    2010-01-01

    Fish and amphibians utilise a suction/force pump to ventilate gills or lungs, with the respiratory muscles innervated by cranial nerves, while reptiles have a thoracic, aspiratory pump innervated by spinal nerves. However, fish can recruit a hypobranchial pump for active jaw occlusion during hypoxia, using feeding muscles innervated by anterior spinal nerves. This same pump is used to ventilate the air-breathing organ in air-breathing fishes. Some reptiles retain a buccal force pump for use d...

  13. Negative Binomial GAM and GAMM to Analyse Amphibian Roadkills

    OpenAIRE

    Zuur, Alain; Mira, António; Carvalho, Filipe; Ieno, Elena; Saveliev, A.A.; Smith, G.M.; Walker, N. J.

    2009-01-01

    This chapter analyses amphibian fatalities along a road in Portugal. The data are counts of kills making a Gaussian distribution unlikely; restricting our choice of techniques. We began with generalised linear models (GLM) and generalised addi- tive models (GAM) with a Poisson distribution, but these models were overdis- persed. To solve this, you can either apply a quasi-Poisson GLM or GAM, or use the negative binomial distribution (Chapter 9). In this particular example, eith...

  14. Evolution of erythrocyte morphology in amphibians (Amphibia: Anura)

    OpenAIRE

    Jie Wei; Yan-Yan Li; Li Wei; Guo-Hua Ding; Xiao-Li Fan; Zhi-Hua Lin

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT We compared the morphology of the erythrocytes of five anurans, two toad species - Bufo gargarizans (Cantor, 1842) and Duttaphrynus melanostictus (Schneider, 1799) and three frog species - Fejervarya limnocharis (Gravenhorst, 1829), Microhyla ornata (Duméril & Bibron, 1841), and Rana zhenhaiensis (Ye, Fei & Matsui, 1995). We then reconstructed the ancestral state of erythrocyte size (ES) and nuclear size (NS) in amphibians based on a molecular tree. Nine morphological traits of eryth...

  15. Reptiles and amphibians of the Savannah River Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taxonomic, distributional, and ecological information on the reptiles and amphibians of the Savannah River Plant (SRP) is provided. The purpose of such a presentation is to give a professional biologist an initial familiarity with herpetology on the SRP, and to provide sufficient comprehensive information to an ecologist, regardless of his experience in herpetology, to permit him to undertake studies that in some manner incorporate the herpetofauna of the SRP

  16. Reptiles and amphibians of the Savannah River Plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gibbons, J.W.; Patterson, K.K.

    1978-11-01

    Taxonomic, distributional, and ecological information on the reptiles and amphibians of the Savannah River Plant (SRP) is provided. The purpose of such a presentation is to give a professional biologist an initial familiarity with herpetology on the SRP, and to provide sufficient comprehensive information to an ecologist, regardless of his experience in herpetology, to permit him to undertake studies that in some manner incorporate the herpetofauna of the SRP. (ERB)

  17. Local adaptation of an anuran amphibian to osmotically stressful environments

    OpenAIRE

    Gómez-Mestre, Iván; Tejedo, Miguel

    2003-01-01

    Water salinity is an intense physiological stress for amphibians. However, some species, such as Bufo calamita, breed in both brackish and freshwater environments. Because selection under environmentally stressful conditions can promote local adaptation of populations, we examined the existence of geographic variation in water salinity tolerance among B. calamita populations from either fresh or brackish water ponds in Southern Spain. Comparisons were made throughout various ontogenetic stage...

  18. Spatial network structure and amphibian persistence in stochastic environments

    OpenAIRE

    Fortuna, Miguel A.; Gómez-Rodríguez, Carola; Bascompte, Jordi

    2006-01-01

    In the past few years, the framework of complex networks has provided new insight into the organization and function of biological systems. However, in spite of its potential, spatial ecology has not yet fully incorporated tools and concepts from network theory. In the present study, we identify a large spatial network of temporary ponds, which are used as breeding sites by several amphibian species. We investigate how the structural properties of the spatial network...

  19. Special Issue: Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles

    OpenAIRE

    Gregory Chinchar, V.

    2011-01-01

    Although viruses infecting and affecting humans are the focus of considerable research effort, viruses that target other animal species, including cold-blooded vertebrates, are receiving increased attention. In part this reflects the interests of comparative virologists, but increasingly it is based on the impact that many viruses have on ecologically and commercially important animals. Frogs and other amphibians are sentinels of environmental health and their disappearance following viral or...

  20. The Search for Violacein-Producing Microbes to Combat Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: A Collaborative Research Project between Secondary School and College Research Students

    OpenAIRE

    Larra Agate; Deborah Beam; Colleen Bucci; Yegor Dukashin; Raneem Jo'beh; Kelsey O'Brien; Jude, Brooke A.

    2015-01-01

    In this citizen science–aided, college laboratory–based microbiology research project, secondary school students collaborate with college research students on an investigation centered around bacterial species in the local watershed. This study specifically investigated the prevalence of violacein-producing bacterial isolates, as violacein has been demonstrated as a potential bioremediation treatment for outbreaks of the worldwide invasive chytrid, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). The imp...

  1. Pathogen Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Irudayaraj

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available The development of sensors for detecting foodborne pathogens has been motivated by the need to produce safe foods and to provide better healthcare. However, in the more recent times, these needs have been expanded to encompass issues relating to biosecurity, detection of plant and soil pathogens, microbial communities, and the environment. The range of technologies that currently flood the sensor market encompass PCR and microarray-based methods, an assortment of optical sensors (including bioluminescence and fluorescence, in addition to biosensor-based approaches that include piezoelectric, potentiometric, amperometric, and conductometric sensors to name a few. More recently, nanosensors have come into limelight, as a more sensitive and portable alternative, with some commercial success. However, key issues affecting the sensor community is the lack of standardization of the testing protocols and portability, among other desirable elements, which include timeliness, cost-effectiveness, user-friendliness, sensitivity and specificity. [...

  2. Nomenclatural notes on living and fossil amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martín, C.

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available A review of extinct and living amphibians known from fossils (Allocaudata, Anura and Caudata has revealed several cases that require nomenclatural changes in order to stabilize the taxonomy of the group. Nomenclatural changes include homonym replacements, corrections of spelling variants and authorships, name availabilities, and in particular, the proposal of new combinations. These changes will allow the incorporation of some palaeontological taxa to the current evolutionary models of relationship of modern forms based on molecular phylogenies. Rana cadurcorum for Rana plicata Filhol, 1877, Rana auscitana for Rana pygmaea Lartet, 1851, and Rana sendoa for Rana robusta Brunner, 1956. Anchylorana Taylor, 1942 is considered a new synonym of Lithobates Fitzinger, 1843. New combinations proposed are: Anaxyrus defensor for Bufo defensor Meylan, 2005; Anaxyrus hibbardi for Bufo hibbardi Taylor, 1937; Anaxyrus pliocompactilis for Bufo pliocompactilis Wilson, 1968; Anaxyrus repentinus for Bufo repentinus Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus rexroadensis for Bufo rexroadensis Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus spongifrons for Bufo spongifrons Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus suspectus for Bufo suspectus Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus tiheni for Bufo tiheni Auffenberg, 1957; Anaxyrus valentinensis for Bufo valentinensis Estes et Tihen, 1964; Ichthyosaura wintershofi for Triturus wintershofi Lunau, 1950; Incilius praevius for Bufo praevius Tihen, 1951; Lithobates bucella for Rana bucella Holman, 1965; Lithobates dubitus for Anchylorana dubita Taylor, 1942; Lithobates fayeae for Rana fayeae Taylor, 1942; Lithobates miocenicus for Rana miocenica Holman, 1965; Lithobates moorei for Anchylorana moorei Taylor, 1942; Lithobates parvissimus for Rana parvissima

  3. Dynamic stability of communities of amphibians in short-term-flooded forest ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    O. V. Zhukov; N. L. Gubanova

    2015-01-01

    The estimation of stability of amphibian populations on the basis of data of population dynamics is given. The paper shows an attempt to estimate the direction of dynamic changes of amphibian populations, and defines the rate of the system deviation from the stationary state due to possible influence of the environmental factors by using concepts such as reactivity, degree of reactivity and flexibility of the system when using their indexes. It is found that populations of amphibians are quit...

  4. A statistical assessment of population trends for data deficient Mexican amphibians

    OpenAIRE

    Esther Quintero; Thessen, Anne E.; Paulina Arias-Caballero; Bárbara Ayala-Orozco

    2014-01-01

    Background. Mexico has the world’s fifth largest population of amphibians and the second country with the highest quantity of threatened amphibian species. About 10% of Mexican amphibians lack enough data to be assigned to a risk category by the IUCN, so in this paper we want to test a statistical tool that, in the absence of specific demographic data, can assess a species’ risk of extinction, population trend, and to better understand which variables increase their vulnerability. Recent stud...

  5. Thermal Tolerance and Sensitivity of Amphibian Larvae from Paleartic and Neotropical Communities

    OpenAIRE

    Katzenberger, Marco

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians across the world are threatened by climate change. This work deals with the analysis of thermal tolerance and sensitivity and their latitudinal variation at the community level, with the intent of examining the prediction that tropical amphibians are at higher risk of extinction due to global warming than temperate species since their environmental temperatures are closer to their upper thermal limits. To test this prediction, two larval amphibian communities were sele...

  6. Synergistic effects of the invasive Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera) and climate change on aquatic amphibian survival

    OpenAIRE

    Saenz, Daniel; Fucik, Erin M; Kwiatkowski, Matthew A

    2013-01-01

    Changes in climate and the introduction of invasive species are two major stressors to amphibians, although little is known about the interaction between these two factors with regard to impacts on amphibians. We focused our study on an invasive tree species, the Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera), that annually sheds its leaves and produces leaf litter that is known to negatively impact aquatic amphibian survival. The purpose of our research was to determine whether the timing of leaf fall f...

  7. Pronephric duct extension in amphibian embryos: migration and other mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drawbridge, Julie; Meighan, Christopher M; Lumpkins, Rebecca; Kite, Mary E

    2003-01-01

    Initiation of excretory system development in all vertebrates requires (1) delamination of the pronephric and pronephric duct rudiments from intermediate mesoderm at the ventral border of anterior somites, and (2) extension of the pronephric duct to the cloaca. Pronephric duct extension is the central event in nephric system development; the pronephric duct differentiates into the tubule that carries nephric filtrate out of the body and induces terminal differentiation of adult kidneys. Early studies concluded that pronephric ducts formed by means of in situ segregation of pronephric duct tissue from lateral mesoderm ventral to the forming somites; more recent studies highlight caudal migration of the pronephric duct as the major morphogenetic mechanism. The purpose of this review is to provide the historical background on studies of the mechanisms of amphibian pronephric duct extension, to review evidence showing that different amphibians perform pronephric duct morphogenesis in different ways, and to suggest future studies that may help illuminate the molecular basis of the mechanisms that have evolved in amphibians to extend the pronephric duct to the cloaca. PMID:12508219

  8. AMPHIBIAN BIODIVERSITY RECOVERY IN A LARGE-SCALE ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ROBERT BRODMAN

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract.—Amphibians are important components of ecosystem function and processes; however, many populations havedeclined due to habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation. We studied the effect of wetlands ecosystem restoration onamphibian population recovery at Kankakee Sands in northwest Indiana, USA. We also tested predictions about colonizationin relation to proximity to existing nature preserves and species characteristics. Prior to restoration activities (1998, theamphibian community at Kankakee Sands consisted of fourteen populations of seven species at seven breeding sites. By 2001,this community increased to 60 populations at 26 sites; however, species richness had not increased. By 2002 the communityincreased to 143 populations of eight species at 38 sites, and by 2003 there were 172 populations of ten species at 44 sites.Abundance index values increased 15-fold from 1998-2003. These increases best fit the exponential growth model. Althoughsurvival through metamorphosis was substantial during wetter than average years (2002 and 2003, during other yearsrestored wetlands dried before larvae of most species transformed. Amphibian colonization was greatest near a naturepreserve with the greatest amphibian diversity. The earliest colonists included fossorial species and those species whose habitatincludes wet and mesic sand prairie. However, the fossorial Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum was the last species tocolonize Kankakee Sands.

  9. Amphibians and disease: Implications for conservation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn, P.S.

    2007-01-01

    The decline of amphibian populations is a world-wide phenomenon that has received increasing attention since about 1990. In 2004, the World Conservation Union’s global amphibian assessment concluded that 48% of the world’s 5,743 described amphibian species were in decline, with 32% considered threatened (Stuart et al. 2004). Amphibian declines are a significant issue in the western United States, where all native species of frogs in the genus Rana and many toads in the genus Bufo are at risk, particularly those that inhabit mountainous areas (Corn 2003a,b; Bradford 2005).

  10. North Cascades National Park Service Complex Natural Resource Preservation Program Amphibian Inventory Big Beaver Watershed 1996 - Progress Report

    Data.gov (United States)

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory — The 1996 amphibian inventory in North Cascades National Park Service Complex Big Beaver watershed is part of a four year program to inventory amphibians in Pacific...

  11. Novel Peptides from Skins of Amphibians Showed Broad-Spectrum Antimicrobial Activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ying; Zhang, Yue; Lee, Wen-Hui; Yang, Xinwang; Zhang, Yun

    2016-03-01

    Peptide agents are often considered as potential biomaterials for developing new drugs that can overcome the rising resistance of pathogenic micro-organisms to classic antibiotic treatments. One key source of peptide agents is amphibian skin, as they provide a great deal of naturally occurring antimicrobial peptide (AMP) templates awaiting further exploitation and utilization. In this study, 12 novel AMPs from the skins of 3 ranid frogs, Rana limnocharis, R. exilispinosa, and Amolops afghanus, were identified using a 5' PCR primer. A total of 11 AMPs exhibited similarities with currently known AMP families, including brevinin-1, brevinin-2, esculentin-1, and nigrocin, besides, one AMP, named as Limnochariin, represented a novel AMP family. All 12 AMPs contain a C-terminus cyclic motif and most of them show obvious antimicrobial activities against 18 standard and clinically isolated strains of bacteria, including 4 Gram-positive bacteria, 11 Gram-negative bacteria, and 3 fungus. These findings provide helpful insight that will be useful in the design of anti-infective peptide agents. PMID:26452973

  12. Environmental dependency of amphibian-ranavirus genotypic interactions: evolutionary perspectives on infectious diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echaubard, Pierre; Leduc, Joel; Pauli, Bruce; Chinchar, V Gregory; Robert, Jacques; Lesbarrères, David

    2014-08-01

    The context-dependent investigations of host-pathogen genotypic interactions, where environmental factors are explicitly incorporated, allow the assessment of both coevolutionary history and contemporary ecological influences. Such a functional explanatory framework is particularly valuable for describing mortality trends and identifying drivers of disease risk more accurately. Using two common North American frog species (Lithobates pipiens and Lithobates sylvaticus) and three strains of frog virus 3 (FV3) at different temperatures, we conducted a laboratory experiment to investigate the influence of host species/genotype, ranavirus strains, temperature, and their interactions, in determining mortality and infection patterns. Our results revealed variability in host susceptibility and strain infectivity along with significant host-strain interactions, indicating that the outcome of an infection is dependent on the specific combination of host and virus genotypes. Moreover, we observed a strong influence of temperature on infection and mortality probabilities, revealing the potential for genotype-genotype-environment interactions to be responsible for unexpected mortality in this system. Our study thus suggests that amphibian hosts and ranavirus strains genetic characteristics should be considered in order to understand infection outcomes and that the investigation of coevolutionary mechanisms within a context-dependent framework provides a tool for the comprehensive understanding of disease dynamics. PMID:25469155

  13. Exotic Fish in Exotic Plantations: A Multi-Scale Approach to Understand Amphibian Occurrence in the Mediterranean Region

    OpenAIRE

    Cruz, Joana; Sarmento, Pedro; Carretero, Miguel A.; White, Piran C. L.

    2015-01-01

    Globally, amphibian populations are threatened by a diverse range of factors including habitat destruction and alteration. Forestry practices have been linked with low diversity and abundance of amphibians. The effect of exotic Eucalyptus spp. plantations on amphibian communities has been studied in a number of biodiversity hotspots, but little is known of its impact in the Mediterranean region. Here, we identify the environmental factors influencing the presence of six species of amphibians ...

  14. What's Slithering around on Your School Grounds? Transforming Student Awareness of Reptile & Amphibian Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasek, Terry M.; Matthews, Catherine E.; Hall, Jeff

    2005-01-01

    The protocols used in a research project on amphibian and reptile diversity at Cool Springs Environmental Education Center near New Bern, North Carolina is described. An increasing or stable number of amphibians and reptiles would indicate that the forest has a balance of invertebrates, leaf litter, moisture, pH, debris, burrows and habitat…

  15. The distribution of Reptiles and amphibians in the Annapurna-Dhaulagiri region (Nepal)

    OpenAIRE

    Nanhoe, L.M.R.; Ouboter, P.E.

    1987-01-01

    The reptiles and amphibians of the Annapurna-Dhaulagiri region in Nepal are keyed and described. Their distribution is recorded, based on both personal observations and literature data. The ecology of the species is discussed. The zoogeography and the altitudinal distribution are analysed. All in all 32 species-group taxa of reptiles and 21 species-group taxa of amphibians are treated.

  16. Pond preference by amphibians (Amphibia) on the Karst Plateau and in Slovenian Istria:

    OpenAIRE

    Francé, Janja

    2002-01-01

    Some habitat determinants and related presence of amphibians in 7 karst ponds in Slovenian Istria and 10 ponds on the Karst Plateau were surveyed from Marchto August 1999. The presence of different species of amphibians was established by sampling according to standard methods for amphibiand...

  17. Influence of Physiological Stress on Nutrient Stoichiometry in Larval Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirschman, Lucas J; Haslett, Savhannah; Fritz, Kelley A; Whiles, Matt R; Warne, Robin W

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to environmental stressors alters animal phenotypes as well as nutrient metabolism, assimilation, and excretion. While stress-induced shifts in nutrient processes are known to alter organismal carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stoichiometry, there has been little exploration of how environmental factors influence phosphorous (P). A better understanding of how P cycling varies with animal physiological state may provide insight into across-scale processes, because P is essential to animal function and ecological processes such as production and decomposition. We tested the effects of predator stress and exogenous glucocorticoids on C∶N∶P stoichiometry of larval amphibians. Glucocorticoids altered nutrient stoichiometry, apparently by modulating ossification and renal function. This reduced whole-body P and significantly increased N∶P. Additionally, elevated glucocorticoids caused a long-term reduction in P excretion. This reduction may reflect an initial unmeasured loss of P that glucocorticoids induce over acute timescales. In contrast, exposure to predator cues had no effect on larval C∶N∶P stoichiometry, which highlights that different stressors have varied effects on the endocrine stress response. Predation, in particular, is ubiquitous in the environment; thus, larvae responding to predators have conserved mechanisms that likely prevent or minimize physiological disruption. These results demonstrate the differing physiological roles of N and P, distinct nutrient demands associated with amphibian metamorphosis, and the contrasting effects that different environmental factors have on the physiological stress response. Our results also suggest that anthropogenic changes to the environment that induce chronic stress in amphibians could affect the biogeochemistry of nutrient-poor environments where they may act as keystone species. PMID:27327181

  18. Inhibition of Escherichia coli ATP synthase by amphibian antimicrobial peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laughlin, Thomas F; Ahmad, Zulfiqar

    2010-04-01

    Previously melittin, the alpha-helical basic honey bee venom peptide, was shown to inhibit F(1)-ATPase by binding at the beta-subunit DELSEED motif of F(1)F(o)-ATP synthase. Herein, we present the inhibitory effects of the basic alpha-helical amphibian antimicrobial peptides, ascaphin-8, aurein 2.2, aurein 2.3, carein 1.8, carein 1.9, citropin 1.1, dermaseptin, maculatin 1.1, maganin II, MRP, or XT-7, on purified F(1) and membrane bound F(1)F(0)Escherichia coli ATP synthase. We found that the extent of inhibition by amphibian peptides is variable. Whereas MRP-amide inhibited ATPase essentially completely (approximately 96% inhibition), carein 1.8 did not inhibit at all (0% inhibition). Inhibition by other peptides was partial with a range of approximately 13-70%. MRP-amide was also the most potent inhibitor on molar scale (IC(50) approximately 3.25 microM). Presence of an amide group at the c-terminal of peptides was found to be critical in exerting potent inhibition of ATP synthase ( approximately 20-40% additional inhibition). Inhibition was fully reversible and found to be identical in both F(1)F(0) membrane preparations as well as in isolated purified F(1). Interestingly, growth of E. coli was abrogated in the presence of ascaphin-8, aurein 2.2, aurein 2.3, citropin 1.1, dermaseptin, magainin II-amide, MRP, MRP-amide, melittin, or melittin-amide but was unaffected in the presence of carein 1.8, carein 1.9, maculatin 1.1, magainin II, or XT-7. Hence inhibition of F(1)-ATPase and E. coli cell growth by amphibian antimicrobial peptides suggests that their antimicrobial/anticancer properties are in part linked to their actions on ATP synthase. PMID:20100509

  19. Cryptic impacts of temperature variability on amphibian immune function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrell, Kimberly A; Quintero, Richard P; Murray, Suzan; Kleopfer, John D; Murphy, James B; Evans, Matthew J; Nissen, Bradley D; Gratwicke, Brian

    2013-11-15

    Ectothermic species living in temperate regions can experience rapid and potentially stressful changes in body temperature driven by abrupt weather changes. Yet, among amphibians, the physiological impacts of short-term temperature variation are largely unknown. Using an ex situ population of Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, an aquatic North American salamander, we tested the hypothesis that naturally occurring periods of temperature variation negatively impact amphibian health, either through direct effects on immune function or by increasing physiological stress. We exposed captive salamanders to repeated cycles of temperature fluctuations recorded in the population's natal stream and evaluated behavioral and physiological responses, including plasma complement activity (i.e. bacteria killing) against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Aeromonas hydrophila. The best-fit model (ΔAICc=0, wi=0.9992) revealed 70% greater P. aeruginosa killing after exposure to variable temperatures and no evidence of thermal acclimation. The same model predicted 50% increased E. coli killing, but had weaker support (ΔAICc=1.8, wi=0.2882). In contrast, plasma defenses were ineffective against A. hydrophila, and other health indicators (leukocyte ratios, growth rates and behavioral patterns) were maintained at baseline values. Our data suggest that amphibians can tolerate, and even benefit from, natural patterns of rapid warming/cooling. Specifically, temperature variation can elicit increased activity of the innate immune system. This immune response may be adaptive in an unpredictable environment, and is undetectable by conventional health indicators (and hence considered cryptic). Our findings highlight the need to consider naturalistic patterns of temperature variation when predicting species' susceptibility to climate change. PMID:23948472

  20. Experimental canopy removal enhances diversity of vernal pond amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skelly, David K; Bolden, Susan R; Freidenburg, L Kealoha

    2014-03-01

    Vernal ponds are often treated as protected environments receiving special regulation and management. Within the landscapes where they are found, forest vegetation frequently dominates surrounding uplands and can grow to overtop and shade pond basins. Two bodies of research offer differing views of the role of forest canopy for vernal pond systems. Studies of landscape conversion suggest that removing forest overstory within uplands can cause local extinctions of amphibians by altering terrestrial habitat or hindering movement. Studies of canopy above pond basins imply an opposite relationship; encroachment of overstory vegetation can be associated with local extinctions potentially via changes in light, thermal, and food resource environments. Unresolved uncertainties about the role of forest canopy reveal significant gaps in our understanding of wetland species distributions and dynamics. Any misunderstanding of canopy influences is simultaneously important to managers because current practices emphasize promoting or conserving vegetation growth particularly within buffers immediately adjacent to ponds. We evaluated this apparent contradiction by conducting a landscape-scale, long-term experiment using 14 natural vernal ponds. Tree felling at six manipulated ponds was limited in spatial scope but was nevertheless effective in increasing water temperature. Compared with eight control ponds, manipulated ponds maintained more amphibian species during five years post-manipulation. There was little evidence that any species was negatively influenced, and the reproductive effort of species for which we estimated egg inputs maintained pretreatment population densities in manipulated compared with control ponds. Overall, our experiment shows that a carefully circumscribed reduction of overhead forest canopy can enhance the capacity of vernal ponds to support wildlife diversity and suggests a scale dependence of canopy influences on amphibians. These findings have

  1. Diversity of aquatic Pseudomonas species and their activity against the fish pathogenic oomycete Saprolegnia

    OpenAIRE

    Yiying Liu; Elzbieta Rzeszutek; Menno van der Voort; Cheng-Hsuan Wu; Even Thoen; Ida Skaar; Vincent Bulone; Dorrestein, Pieter C.; Raaijmakers, Jos M.; Irene de Bruijn

    2015-01-01

    Emerging fungal and oomycete pathogens are increasingly threatening animals and plants globally. Amongst oomycetes, Saprolegnia species adversely affect wild and cultivated populations of amphibians and fish, leading to substantial reductions in biodiversity and food productivity. With the ban of several chemical control measures, new sustainable methods are needed to mitigate Saprolegnia infections in aquaculture. Here, PhyloChip-based community analyses showed that the Pseudomonadales, part...

  2. Immune Evasion Strategies of Ranaviruses and Innate Immune Responses to These Emerging Pathogens

    OpenAIRE

    Leon Grayfer; Francisco De Jesús Andino; Guangchun Chen; Chinchar, Gregory V.; Jacques Robert

    2012-01-01

    Ranaviruses (RV, Iridoviridae) are large double-stranded DNA viruses that infect fish, amphibians and reptiles. For ecological and commercial reasons, considerable attention has been drawn to the increasing prevalence of ranaviral infections of wild populations and in aquacultural settings. Importantly, RVs appear to be capable of crossing species barriers of numerous poikilotherms, suggesting that these pathogens possess a broad host range and potent immune evasion mecha...

  3. Amphibians and agricultural chemicals: Review of the risks in a complex environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agricultural landscapes, although often highly altered in nature, provide habitat for many species of amphibian. However, the persistence and health of amphibian populations are likely to be compromised by the escalating use of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. This review examines some of the issues relating to exposure of amphibian populations to these chemicals and places emphasis on mechanisms of toxicity. Several mechanisms are highlighted, including those that may disrupt thyroid activity, retinoid pathways, and sexual differentiation. Special emphasis is also placed on the various interactions that may occur between different agro-chemicals and between chemicals and other environmental factors. We also examine the indirect effects on amphibian populations that occur when their surrounding pond communities are altered by chemicals. - The literature on the various mechanisms by which amphibians may be affected by agricultural chemicals is reviewed.

  4. Amphibians and agricultural chemicals: Review of the risks in a complex environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mann, Reinier M., E-mail: reinier.mann@uts.edu.a [Centre for Ecotoxicology, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Technology - Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006 (Australia); Ecotoxicology and Environmental Contaminants Section, Department of Environment and Climate Change, New South Wales, PO Box 29, Lidcombe, NSW 1825 (Australia); Hyne, Ross V., E-mail: Ross.Hyne@environment.nsw.gov.a [Ecotoxicology and Environmental Contaminants Section, Department of Environment and Climate Change, New South Wales, PO Box 29, Lidcombe, NSW 1825 (Australia); Choung, Catherine B., E-mail: catherine.choung@environment.nsw.gov.a [Department of Biological Sciences and Physical Geography, Macquarie University, NSW 2109 (Australia); Wilson, Scott P., E-mail: s.wilson@cqu.edu.a [Centre for Environmental Management, Central Queensland University, PO Box 1319, Gladstone, QLD 4680 (Australia)

    2009-11-15

    Agricultural landscapes, although often highly altered in nature, provide habitat for many species of amphibian. However, the persistence and health of amphibian populations are likely to be compromised by the escalating use of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. This review examines some of the issues relating to exposure of amphibian populations to these chemicals and places emphasis on mechanisms of toxicity. Several mechanisms are highlighted, including those that may disrupt thyroid activity, retinoid pathways, and sexual differentiation. Special emphasis is also placed on the various interactions that may occur between different agro-chemicals and between chemicals and other environmental factors. We also examine the indirect effects on amphibian populations that occur when their surrounding pond communities are altered by chemicals. - The literature on the various mechanisms by which amphibians may be affected by agricultural chemicals is reviewed.

  5. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico, with comparison with adjoining states

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A.; Smith, Geoffrey R.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. The list comprises 133 species (24 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 27 families (9 amphibians, 18 reptiles) and 65 genera (16 amphibians, 49 reptiles). Coahuila has a high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Coahuila has relatively few state endemics, but has several regional endemics. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Coahuila and bordering states is fairly extensive. Of the 132 species of native amphibians and reptiles, eight are listed as Vulnerable, six as Near Threatened, and six as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. In the SEMARNAT listing, 19 species are Subject to Special Protection, 26 are Threatened, and three are in Danger of Extinction. Coahuila is home to several species of conservation concern, especially lizards and turtles. Coahuila is an important state for the conservation of the native regional fauna. PMID:27408554

  6. Synergistic effects of the invasive Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera) and climate change on aquatic amphibian survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saenz, Daniel; Fucik, Erin M; Kwiatkowski, Matthew A

    2013-11-01

    Changes in climate and the introduction of invasive species are two major stressors to amphibians, although little is known about the interaction between these two factors with regard to impacts on amphibians. We focused our study on an invasive tree species, the Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera), that annually sheds its leaves and produces leaf litter that is known to negatively impact aquatic amphibian survival. The purpose of our research was to determine whether the timing of leaf fall from Chinese tallow and the timing of amphibian breeding (determined by weather) influence survival of amphibian larvae. We simulated a range of winter weather scenarios, ranging from cold to warm, by altering the relative timing of when leaf litter and amphibian larvae were introduced into aquatic mesocosms. Our results indicate that amphibian larvae survival was greatly affected by the length of time Chinese tallow leaf litter decomposes in water prior to the introduction of the larvae. Larvae in treatments simulating warm winters (early amphibian breeding) were introduced to the mesocosms early in the aquatic decomposition process of the leaf litter and had significantly lower survival compared with cold winters (late amphibian breeding), likely due to significantly lower dissolved oxygen levels. Shifts to earlier breeding phenology, linked to warming climate, have already been observed in many amphibian taxa, and with most climate models predicting a significant warming trend over the next century, the trend toward earlier breeding should continue if not increase. Our results strongly suggest that a warming climate can interact with the effects of invasive plant species, in ways we have not previously considered, to reduce the survival of an already declining group of organisms. PMID:24363907

  7. Lowland amphibians - recalculation of data on effects of diluted thyroxine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Christian Endler

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Our previous paper described methodological problems and a generally acceptable pooling method for metamorphosis experiments and application of that method to the results of multicentre experiments performed over the course of two decades (1990 - 2010 on highland amphibians (Rana temporaria treated with a homeopathically prepared high dilution of thyroxine (“30x”. Differences between treatment groups thus calculated were in line with those obtained with other pooling methods: Thyroxine 30x does slow down metamorphosis in highland amphibians. This follow up paper provides a broader background on metamorphosis physiology and describes application of the pooling method to experiments with Rana temporaria from lowland biotopes both with a moderate dilution of thyroxine (“8x” and with 30x. Analogously prepared water was used for control (water 8x or 30x. Development was, again as above, monitored by documenting the number of animals that had entered the 4-legged stage. Experiments were carried out between 1990 and 2000 by different researchers independently and in blind. As it is well known, metamorphosis can be speeded up by thyroxine 10-8 mol/l; interestingly, thyroxine 8x may produce a reverse, i.e. inhibiting effect (p 0.05. However, an inhibiting effect on lowland larvae was found when animals were treated from the spawn stage on (p < 0.01.

  8. Evolution of erythrocyte morphology in amphibians (Amphibia: Anura

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Wei

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT We compared the morphology of the erythrocytes of five anurans, two toad species - Bufo gargarizans (Cantor, 1842 and Duttaphrynus melanostictus (Schneider, 1799 and three frog species - Fejervarya limnocharis (Gravenhorst, 1829, Microhyla ornata (Duméril & Bibron, 1841, and Rana zhenhaiensis (Ye, Fei & Matsui, 1995. We then reconstructed the ancestral state of erythrocyte size (ES and nuclear size (NS in amphibians based on a molecular tree. Nine morphological traits of erythrocytes were all significantly different among the five species. The results of principal component analysis showed that the first component (49.1% of variance explained had a high positive loading for erythrocyte length, nuclear length, NS and ratio of erythrocyte length/erythrocyte width; the second axis (28.5% of variance explained mainly represented erythrocyte width and ES. Phylogenetic generalized least squares analysis showed that the relationship between NS and ES was not affected by phylogenetic relationships although there was a significant linear relationship between these two variables. These results suggested that (1 the nine morphological traits of erythrocytes in the five anuran species were species-specific; (2 in amphibians, larger erythrocytes generally had larger nuclei.

  9. Anthropogenic and ecological drivers of amphibian disease (ranavirosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra C North

    Full Text Available Ranaviruses are causing mass amphibian die-offs in North America, Europe and Asia, and have been implicated in the decline of common frog (Rana temporaria populations in the UK. Despite this, we have very little understanding of the environmental drivers of disease occurrence and prevalence. Using a long term (1992-2000 dataset of public reports of amphibian mortalities, we assess a set of potential predictors of the occurrence and prevalence of Ranavirus-consistent common frog mortality events in Britain. We reveal the influence of biotic and abiotic drivers of this disease, with many of these abiotic characteristics being anthropogenic. Whilst controlling for the geographic distribution of mortality events, disease prevalence increases with increasing frog population density, presence of fish and wild newts, increasing pond depth and the use of garden chemicals. The presence of an alternative host reduces prevalence, potentially indicating a dilution effect. Ranavirosis occurrence is associated with the presence of toads, an urban setting and the use of fish care products, providing insight into the causes of emergence of disease. Links between occurrence, prevalence, pond characteristics and garden management practices provides useful management implications for reducing the impacts of Ranavirus in the wild.

  10. Radioautographic investigation of retinal growth in mature amphibians

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Svistunov, S.A.; Mitashov, V.I.

    1986-07-01

    Growth of the retina was studied in mature intact amphibians, tritons, axolotls, ambystomas and clawed frogs, for six months using multiple injection of /sup 3/H-thymidine. It was established that the source of replenishment of the retina by new cells is its terminal zone in all animals investigated. This is attested to by the gradual migration of labeled cells from the growth zone into differentiated layers of the retina. The most intensely labeled cells occupy a distal position relative to other labeled cells, therefore marking the boundary between the initial part of the retina, not containing labeled nuclei, and the part being augmented. For each species studied, a level of proliferative activity is characteristic for cells of the terminal zone, which decreases in the order axolotl-clawed frog-triton -ambystoma. In the axolotl and additional growth zone is noted in the retina, in addition to the terminal, which is located in the area of the unclosed section of the embryonic fissure. Results obtained serve as a basis for the regenerative potentials of eye tissues revealed previously in these amphibian species.

  11. Suburbanization, estrogen contamination, and sex ratio in wild amphibian populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Max R; Giller, Geoffrey S J; Barber, Larry B; Fitzgerald, Kevin C; Skelly, David K

    2015-09-22

    Research on endocrine disruption in frog populations, such as shifts in sex ratios and feminization of males, has predominantly focused on agricultural pesticides. Recent evidence suggests that suburban landscapes harbor amphibian populations exhibiting similar levels of endocrine disruption; however the endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) sources are unknown. Here, we show that sex ratios of metamorphosing frogs become increasingly female-dominated along a suburbanization gradient. We further show that suburban ponds are frequently contaminated by the classical estrogen estrone and a variety of EDCs produced by plants (phytoestrogens), and that the diversity of organic EDCs is correlated with the extent of developed land use and cultivated lawn and gardens around a pond. Our work also raises the possibility that trace-element contamination associated with human land use around suburban ponds may be contributing to the estrogenic load within suburban freshwaters and constitutes another source of estrogenic exposure for wildlife. These data suggest novel, unexplored pathways of EDC contamination in human-altered environments. In particular, we propose that vegetation changes associated with suburban neighborhoods (e.g., from forests to lawns and ornamental plants) increase the distribution of phytoestrogens in surface waters. The result of frog sex ratios varying as a function of human land use implicates a role for environmental modulation of sexual differentiation in amphibians, which are assumed to only have genetic sex determination. Overall, we show that endocrine disruption is widespread in suburban frog populations and that the causes are likely diverse. PMID:26372955

  12. Proximity to pollution sources and risk of amphibian limb malformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Brynn; Skelly, David; Demarchis, Livia K; Slade, Martin D; Galusha, Deron; Rabinowitz, Peter M

    2005-11-01

    The cause of limb deformities in wild amphibian populations remains unclear, even though the apparent increase in prevalence of this condition may have implications for human health. Few studies have simultaneously assessed the effect of multiple exposures on the risk of limb deformities. In a cross-sectional survey of 5,264 hylid and ranid metamorphs in 42 Vermont wetlands, we assessed independent risk factors for nontraumatic limb malformation. The rate of nontraumatic limb malformation varied by location from 0 to 10.2%. Analysis of a subsample did not demonstrate any evidence of infection with the parasite Ribeiroia. We used geographic information system (GIS) land-use/land-cover data to validate field observations of land use in the proximity of study wetlands. In a multiple logistic regression model that included land use as well as developmental stage, genus, and water-quality measures, proximity to agricultural land use was associated with an increased risk of limb malformation (odds ratio = 2.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.42-3.58; p < 0.001). The overall discriminant power of the statistical model was high (C = 0.79). These findings from one of the largest systematic surveys to date provide support for the role of chemical toxicants in the development of amphibian limb malformation and demonstrate the value of an epidemiologic approach to this problem. PMID:16263502

  13. Frog skin epithelium: electrolyte transport and chytridiomycosis

    OpenAIRE

    Campbell, Craig R.; Voyles, Jamie; Cook, David I.; Dinudom, Anuwat

    2011-01-01

    One unique physiological characteristic of frogs is that their main route for intake of water is across the skin. In these animals, the skin acts in concert with the kidney and urinary bladder to maintain electrolyte homeostasis. Water absorption across the skin is driven by the osmotic gradient that develops as a consequence of solute transport. Our recent study demonstrated that chytridiomycosis, an infection of amphibian skin by the fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, inhibits...

  14. The Role of Symbiotic Bacteria in Disease Resistance and Conservation of the Critically Endangered Panamanian Golden Frog

    OpenAIRE

    Becker, Matthew Henry

    2014-01-01

    Amphibian populations have undergone unprecedented declines in recent decades. Many of these declines are due to the spread of the cutaneous fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the disease chytridiomycosis. The Panamanian golden frog (Atelopus zeteki) has not been seen in the wild since Bd spread through western Panama. In response to initial declines, golden frogs were collected from wild populations and placed in captive colonies with the goal of future reintro...

  15. Cutaneous Bacteria of the Redback Salamander Prevent Morbidity Associated with a Lethal Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Matthew H Becker; Harris, Reid N.

    2010-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an infectious disease that causes population declines of many amphibians. Cutaneous bacteria isolated from redback salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, and mountain yellow-legged frogs, Rana muscosa, inhibit the growth of Bd in vitro. In this study, the bacterial community present on the skin of P. cinereus individuals was investigated to determine if it provides protection to salamanders from the lethal and s...

  16. Pathogene Mikroorganismen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Martin

    Infektionen, die vom Tier auf den Menschen übertragen werden, werden als Zoonosen bezeichnet. Pathogene Mikroorganismen können entweder durch Mensch-Mensch, Mensch-Tier-Kontakt oder durch Kontakt mit kontaminierten Vektoren übertragen werden [39]. Vektoren können einerseits belebt (z. B. blutsaugende Insekten), andererseits unbelebt sein. Kontaminierte Lebensmittel und Wasser gehören zu den wichtigsten unbelebten Vektoren. Neben Lebensmitteln können aber auch kontaminierte Gegenstände oder der Kontakt mit Kontaminationsquellen in der Umwelt Auslöser von Krankheitsfällen sein. Weltweit sind mehr als 1400 krankheitsverursachende biologische Agentien bekannt, von denen über 60 % ein zoonotisches Potenzial aufweisen. Als Ergebnis von Expertengesprächen wurde kürzlich berichtet, dass etwa 3 bis 4, meist virale, neu auftretende Infektionskrankheiten ("emerging diseases“) pro Jahr erwartet werden können [15]. Es handelt sich bei diesen Vorgängen aber nicht nur um das Auftauchen vollkommen neuer oder unbeschriebener Spezies, sondern auch um evolutionsbedingte Anpassungen von mikrobiellen Populationen an neue Bedingungen in ihrem Ökosystem [7]. Molekulare Analysen an Umweltchlamydien erbrachten Hinweise, dass die Evolution erste genetische Pathogenitätsmerkmale in dieser Spezies schon vor 700 Mio. Jahren entstehen ließ [14]. Viele Faktoren befeuern den Prozess der Anpassung, unter anderem auch alle Strategien, mit denen der Mensch seit Jahrtausenden versucht, Lebensmittel sicher und haltbar zu machen. Als die treibenden Kräfte des Auftretens neuer Krankheitserreger werden in der Gegenwart vor allem das sich ändernde Weltklima, die globalen Warenströme und die sich verändernden Konsumgewohnheiten genannt. Es steht auch außer Zweifel, dass viele dieser Erreger Tiere als ihr natürliches Reservoir haben werden, d. h. Zoonosen im klassischen Sinne sind [15].

  17. Drought, deluge and declines: the impact of precipitation extremes on amphibians in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walls, Susan C.; Barichivich, William J.; Brown, Mary E.

    2013-01-01

    The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change—that of extreme variation in precipitation—may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall “pulses” are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity.

  18. Assessing effects of pesticides on amphibians and reptiles: status and needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, R.J.; Henry, P.F.P.

    1992-01-01

    Growing concern about the decline of certain amphibian populations and for conservation of amphibians and reptiles has led to renewed awareness of problems from pesticides. Testing amphibians and reptiles as a requirement for chemical registration has been proposed but is difficult because of the phylogenetic diversity of these groups. Information from the literature and research may determine whether amphibians and reptiles are adequately protected by current tests for mammals, birds, and fish. Existing information indicates that amphibians are unpredictably more resistant to certain cholinesterase inhibitors, and more sensitive to two chemicals used in fishery applications than could have been predicted. A single study on one species of lizard suggests that reptiles may be close in sensitivity to mammals and birds. Research on effects of pesticides on amphibians and reptiles should compare responses to currently tested groups and should seek to delineate those taxa and chemicals for which cross-group prediction is not possible. New tests for amphibians and reptiles should rely to the greatest extent possible on existing data bases, and should be designed for maximum economy and minimum harm to test animals. A strategy for developing the needed information is proposed. Good field testing and surveillance of chemicals in use may compensate for failures of predictive evaluations and may ultimately lead to improved tests.

  19. Atrazine Contamination in Water and the Impact on Amphibian Populations: A Bioassay That Measures Water Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, T. B.

    2001-12-01

    In recent laboratory studies, we showed that atrazine, a common herbicide, can inhibit metamorphosis, produce hermaphrodites, and inhibit male development in amphibians. In part, these effects are due to a decrease in androgen levels. These effects occur at ecologically relevant low doses (0.1 ppb), and the effective levels are below the current drinking level standard and below contaminant levels found even in rainfall in some areas. Thus, the impact of this widespread compound on free-ranging amphibians is a concern. We undertook a large-scale study to examine atrazine levels in a variety of habitats (temporary pools, rivers, lakes and ponds, and field runoff) across the US where atrazine is used and areas that report no atrazine use. Also, we collected amphibians at each site to examine them for developmental abnormalities. These ongoing studies will help determine the extent of atrazine contamination and its potential impact on amphibian populations. The concern for atrazine's impact is increased, because the mechanism through which the compound produces this effect (inhibition of androgen production) is commonly observed in fish, reptiles and mammals in addition to amphibians, although amphibians appear to sensitive at much lower doses. Thus, effects on amphibians may indicate a much broader impact.

  20. Stable Isotopes Reveal Trophic Partitioning and Trophic Plasticity of a Larval Amphibian Guild.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa Arribas

    Full Text Available Temporary ponds are highly variable systems where resource availability and community structure change extensively over time, and consequently the food web is highly dynamic. Amphibians play a critical role both as consumers and prey in aquatic communities and yet there is still little information on the trophic status of most amphibians. More importantly, little is known about the extent to which they can alter their trophic ecology in response to changing conditions. We experimentally investigated the effects of increased amphibian density, presence of intraguild competitors, and presence of native and invasive predators (either free or caged on the trophic status of a Mediterranean amphibian guild, using stable isotopes. We observed variations in δ13C and δ15N isotopic values among amphibian species and treatments and differences in their food sources. Macrophytes were the most important food resource for spadefoot toad tadpoles (Pelobates cultripes and relatively important for all anurans within the guild. High density and presence of P. cultripes tadpoles markedly reduced macrophyte biomass, forcing tadpoles to increase their feeding on detritus, algae and zooplankton, resulting in lower δ13C values. Native dytiscid predators only changed the isotopic signature of newts whereas invasive red swamp crayfish had an enormous impact on environmental conditions and greatly affected the isotopic values of amphibians. Crayfish forced tadpoles to increase detritus ingestion or other resources depleted in δ13C. We found that the opportunistic amphibian feeding was greatly conditioned by intra- and interspecific competition whereas non-consumptive predator effects were negligible. Determining the trophic plasticity of amphibians can help us understand natural and anthropogenic changes in aquatic ecosystems and assess amphibians' ability to adjust to different environmental conditions.

  1. Stable Isotopes Reveal Trophic Partitioning and Trophic Plasticity of a Larval Amphibian Guild.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arribas, Rosa; Díaz-Paniagua, Carmen; Caut, Stephane; Gomez-Mestre, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Temporary ponds are highly variable systems where resource availability and community structure change extensively over time, and consequently the food web is highly dynamic. Amphibians play a critical role both as consumers and prey in aquatic communities and yet there is still little information on the trophic status of most amphibians. More importantly, little is known about the extent to which they can alter their trophic ecology in response to changing conditions. We experimentally investigated the effects of increased amphibian density, presence of intraguild competitors, and presence of native and invasive predators (either free or caged) on the trophic status of a Mediterranean amphibian guild, using stable isotopes. We observed variations in δ13C and δ15N isotopic values among amphibian species and treatments and differences in their food sources. Macrophytes were the most important food resource for spadefoot toad tadpoles (Pelobates cultripes) and relatively important for all anurans within the guild. High density and presence of P. cultripes tadpoles markedly reduced macrophyte biomass, forcing tadpoles to increase their feeding on detritus, algae and zooplankton, resulting in lower δ13C values. Native dytiscid predators only changed the isotopic signature of newts whereas invasive red swamp crayfish had an enormous impact on environmental conditions and greatly affected the isotopic values of amphibians. Crayfish forced tadpoles to increase detritus ingestion or other resources depleted in δ13C. We found that the opportunistic amphibian feeding was greatly conditioned by intra- and interspecific competition whereas non-consumptive predator effects were negligible. Determining the trophic plasticity of amphibians can help us understand natural and anthropogenic changes in aquatic ecosystems and assess amphibians' ability to adjust to different environmental conditions. PMID:26091281

  2. Impact of forestry practices at a landscape scale on the dynamics of amphibian populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, Elizabeth B; Patrick, David A; Gibbs, James P

    2015-12-01

    Forest loss is a primary cause of worldwide amphibian decline. Timber harvesting in the United States has caused dramatic changes in quality and extent of forest ecosystems, and intensive forest management still occurs. Although numerous studies have documented substantial reductions in amphibian densities related to timber harvest, subsequent extinctions are rare. To better understand the population dynamics that have allowed so many amphibian species to persist in the face of widespread forest disturbance, we developed spatially explicit metapopulation models for four forest-dependent amphibian species (Lithobates sylvaticus, Ambystoma opacum, A. talpoideum, and A. maculatum) that incorporated demographic and habitat selection data derived from experiments conducted as part of the Land Use Effects on Amphibian Populations Project (LEAP). We projected local and landscape-scale population persistence under 108 different forestry practice scenarios, varying treatment (partial cut, clear-cut with coarse woody debris [CWD] removed, and clearcut with CWD retained), cut patch size (1, 10, or 50 ha), total area cut (10, 20, or 30%), and initial amphibian population size (5, 50, or 500 adult females per local breeding population). Under these scenarios, landscape-scale extinction was highly unlikely, occurring in < 1% of model runs and for only 2 of the 4 species, because landscape-scale populations were able to persist via dispersal even despite frequent local extinctions. Yet for all species, population sizes were reduced to -50% in all clear-cut scenarios, regardless of the size of harvested patches. These findings suggest that debate over timber harvesting on pool-breeding amphibian populations in the United States should focus not on questions of landscape-scale extinction but on the ecological consequences of dramatic reductions in amphibian biomass, including changes in trophic interactions, nutrient cycling, and energy transfer. Additionally, we conclude that

  3. Emerging Pathogens Initiative (EPI)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Emerging Pathogens Initiative (EPI) database contains emerging pathogens information from the local Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs). The EPI software...

  4. Amphibians and Reptiles of the state of Nuevo León, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Lemos-Espinal,Julio; Smith, Geoffrey; Cruz, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    We compiled a check list of the herpetofauna of Nuevo León. We documented 132 species (23 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 30 families (11 amphibians, 19 reptiles) and 73 genera (17 amphibians, 56 reptiles). Only two species are endemic to Nuevo León. Nuevo León contains a relatively high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Nuevo León and states it borders is fairly extensive. Of 130 native species, 102 are considered ...

  5. Dynamics of radionuclide accumulation at amphibians and reptiles in the Poles'e state radioecological reserve

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    It was studied the peculiarity of the radionuclide intake to organism of amphibians and reptiles in the Poles'e radioecological reserve in 1997. The radioactive contamination level of investigated area was from 15 to 40 Ci/km2. It was measured 38 samples (26 for amphibians and 12 for reptiles) from points with background gamma-irradiation from 35 to 800 micro R/h. For the last eleven years of investigation it was revealed the total tendency to reduction of level of gamma-radioactive accumulation in 18,8-42,6 times for amphibians and in 2,8-52,5 times for reptiles

  6. Mine spoil prairies expand critical habitat for endangered and threatened amphibian and reptile species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lannoo, Michael J.; Kinney, Vanessa C.; Heemeyer, Jennifer L.; Engbrecht, Nathan J.; Gallant, Alisa L.; Klaver, Robert W.

    2009-01-01

    Coal extraction has been occurring in the Midwestern United States for over a century. Despite the pre-mining history of the landscape as woodlands, spent surface coalfields are often reclaimed to grasslands. We assessed amphibian and reptile species on a large tract of coal spoil prairie and found 13 species of amphibians (nine frog and four salamander species) and 19 species of reptiles (one lizard, five turtle, and 13 snake species). Two state-endangered and three state species of special concern were documented. The amphibian diversity at our study site was comparable to the diversity found at a large restored prairie situated 175 km north, within the historic prairie peninsula.

  7. Quaternary climate changes explain diversity among reptiles and amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bastos Araujo, Miguel; Nogués-Bravo, David; Diniz-Filho, Alexandre F.;

    2008-01-01

    debated without reaching consensus. Here, we test the proposition that European species richness of reptiles and amphibians is driven by climate changes in the Quaternary. We find that climate stability between the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the present day is a better predictor of species richness......It is widely believed that contemporary climate determines large-scale patterns of species richness. An alternative view proposes that species richness reflects biotic responses to historic climate changes. These competing "contemporary climate" vs "historic climate" hypotheses have been vigorously...... than contemporary climate; and that the 0°C isotherm of the LGM delimits the distributions of narrow-ranging species, whereas the current 0°C isotherm limits the distributions of wide-ranging species. Our analyses contradict previous studies of large-scale species richness patterns and support the view...

  8. Phylogenetic signals in the climatic niches of the world's amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hof, Christian; Rahbek, Carsten; Araújo, Miguel B.

    2010-01-01

    The question of whether closely related species share similar ecological requirements has attracted increasing attention, because of its importance for understanding global diversity gradients and the impacts of climate change on species distributions. In fact, the assumption that related species...... are also ecologically similar has often been made, although the prevalence of such a phylogenetic signal in ecological niches remains heavily debated. Here, we provide a global analysis of phylogenetic niche relatedness for the world's amphibians. In particular, we assess which proportion of the...... variance in the realised climatic niches is explained on higher taxonomic levels, and whether the climatic niches of species within a given taxonomic group are more similar than between taxonomic groups. We found evidence for phylogenetic signals in realised climatic niches although the strength of the...

  9. AMPHIBIAN COMMUNITIES IN BIOGEOCOENOSIS WITH DIFFERENT STAGES OF ANTHROPOGENIC CLYMAX

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marchenkovskaya А. А.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We examined the abundance of juvenile (fingerlings and yearlings and sexually mature (3-6 years of various anurans at various biotopes with different degrees of anthropogenic influence. Population analysis has revealed that the number of juveniles in all the habitats are depended on type and level of anthropogenic influence. In all the habitats the most numerous species was synanthropic bufo viridis. In biotopes with high contamination of pollutants, only one species of amphibians - the marsh frog has populations with juveniles migrating here in the early fall. The highest number of mature individuals registered for the population of Bombina bombina, pelobates fuscus and in one biotope for hyla arborea. The populations of pelophylax ridibundus could be considered as the most balanced by number of juvenile and mature individuals.

  10. Correlates of species richness in the largest Neotropical amphibian radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Voyer, A; Padial, J M; Castroviejo-Fisher, S; de la Riva, I; Vilà, C

    2011-05-01

    Although tropical environments are often considered biodiversity hotspots, it is precisely in such environments where least is known about the factors that drive species richness. Here, we use phylogenetic comparative analyses to study correlates of species richness for the largest Neotropical amphibian radiation: New World direct-developing frogs. Clade-age and species richness were nonsignificantly, negatively correlated, suggesting that clade age alone does not explain among-clade variation in species richness. A combination of ecological and morphological traits explained 65% of the variance in species richness. A more vascularized ventral skin, the ability to colonize high-altitude ranges, encompassing a large variety of vegetation types, correlated significantly with species richness, whereas larger body size was marginally correlated with species richness. Hence, whereas high-altitude ranges play a role in shaping clade diversity in the Neotropics, intrinsic factors, such as skin structures and possibly body size, might ultimately determine which clades are more speciose than others. PMID:21401771

  11. Visual implant elastomer mark retention through metamorphosis in amphibian larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, E.H.C.

    2008-01-01

    Questions in population ecology require the study of marked animals, and marks are assumed to be permanent and not overlooked by observers. I evaluated retention through metamorphosis of visual implant elastomer marks in larval salamanders and frogs and assessed error in observer identification of these marks. I found 1) individual marks were not retained in larval wood frogs (Rana sylvatica), whereas only small marks were likely to be retained in larval salamanders (Eurycea bislineata), and 2) observers did not always correctly identify marked animals. Evaluating the assumptions of marking protocols is important in the design phase of a study so that correct inference can be made about the population processes of interest. This guidance should be generally useful to the design of mark?recapture studies, with particular application to studies of larval amphibians.

  12. Thyroid Histopathology Assessments for the Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay to Detect Thyroid-active Substances

    Science.gov (United States)

    In support of an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay (AMA) Test Guideline for the detection of substances that interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, a document was developed that provides a standardized appro...

  13. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Central California: REPTILEL (Reptile and Amphibian Lines)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for amphibians and reptiles in Central California. Vector lines in this data set represent general stream...

  14. Preliminary Assessment for Abnormal Amphibians on National Wildlife Refuges in the Southeast Region FY 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Preliminary screening assessments for abnormal amphibians were initiated on national wildlife refuges (NWRs) in the southeast region in 2000, with additional...

  15. Study on abnormal amphibians on National Wildlife Refuges: Questions and answers

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This document answers questions related to a 10year abnormal amphibian study conducted on U.S. National Wildlife Refuges. Topics include: why the study was...

  16. Survey of reptiles and amphibians of North Platte National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This proposal is for surveying reptiles and amphibians of North Platte National Wildlife Refuge for the specific goals of generating a species list, species...

  17. Summary of amphibian and reptile surveys 2001 - North Mississippi Refuges Complex

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Report details surveys for amphibians and reptiles on Dahomey, Coldwater River, and Dahomey NWRs in 2001. Sampling methods and protocols are also included.

  18. Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey ESI: REPTILES (Reptile and Amphibian Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for threatened/endangered sea turtles, diamondback terrapins, and rare reptiles/amphibians in coastal...

  19. Species List of Alaskan Birds, Mammals, Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, and Invertebrates. Alaska Region Report Number 82.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Tamra Faris

    This publication contains a detailed list of the birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates found in Alaska. Part I lists the species by geographical regions. Part II lists the species by the ecological regions of the state. (CO)

  20. Quantifying Amphibian Pesticide Body Burdens for Active Ingredients Versus Formulations Through Dermal Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widespread pesticide applications throughout agricultural landscapes pose a risk to post-metamorphic amphibians leaving or moving between breeding ponds in terrestrial habitats. Recent studies indicate that the inactive ingredients in pesticide formulations may be equally or more...

  1. Forests as promoters of terrestrial life-history strategies in East African amphibians

    OpenAIRE

    Müller, Hendrik; Liedtke, Hans Christoph; Menegon, Michele; Beck, Jan; Ballesteros-Mejia, Liliana; Nagel, Peter; Loader, Simon Paul

    2013-01-01

    Many amphibian lineages show terrestrialization of their reproductive strategy and breeding is partially or completely independent of water. A number of causal factors have been proposed for the evolution of terrestrialized breeding. While predation has received repeated attention as a potential factor, the influence of other factors such as habitat has never been tested using appropriate data or methods. Using a dataset that comprises 180 amphibian species from various East African habitats,...

  2. Amphibian conservation in human shaped environments: landscape dynamics, habitat modeling and metapopulation analyses

    OpenAIRE

    Zanini, Flavio; Schlaepfer, Rodolphe; Golay, François

    2007-01-01

    Global biodiversity is experiencing a worrying decline. Habitats destruction, associated to their degradation and fragmentation are among the greatest causes. Amphibians are particularly interesting because they are more threatened and decline more rapidly than either birds or mammals. In this context, the objective of our research is to improve some methodological approaches and offer practical scientific bases for decision making in landscape management and amphibian conservation. Our study...

  3. Amphibian conservation in human shaped environments: landscape dynamics, habitat modeling and metapopulation analyses

    OpenAIRE

    Zanini, Flavio

    2006-01-01

    Global biodiversity is experiencing a worrying decline. Habitats destruction, associated to their degradation and fragmentation are among the greatest causes. Amphibians are particularly interesting because they are more threatened and decline more rapidly than either birds or mammals. In this context, the objective of our research is to improve some methodological approaches and offer practical scientific bases for decision making in landscape management and amphibian conservation. Our study...

  4. Climatic change and wetland desiccation cause amphibian decline in Yellowstone National Park

    OpenAIRE

    McMenamin, Sarah K.; Hadly, Elizabeth A.; Wright, Christopher K.

    2008-01-01

    Amphibians are a bellwether for environmental degradation, even in natural ecosystems such as Yellowstone National Park in the western United States, where species have been actively protected longer than anywhere else on Earth. We document that recent climatic warming and resultant wetland desiccation are causing severe declines in 4 once-common amphibian species native to Yellowstone. Climate monitoring over 6 decades, remote sensing, and repeated surveys of 49 ponds indicate that decreasin...

  5. Non-native fish in mountain lakes: effects on a declining amphibian and ecosystem subsidy

    OpenAIRE

    Lawler, Sharon P; Pope, Karen L

    2006-01-01

    Wilderness water resources often provide wildlife habitat and associated recreational opportunities, such as angling or birdwatching. Introduced trout in mountain lakes could affect terrestrial wildlife by changing ecosystem subsidy, which is the flow of nutrients and organisms from aquatic to terrestrial habitats. Trout prey upon larval amphibians and aquatic insects, and the adult stages of aquatic insects and amphibians are prey for bats, birds, snakes, and other terrestrial insectivores. ...

  6. Amphibians biochemical indices from reservoirs of different levels of waste discharge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. N. Zalipuha

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Influence of uranium mining and processing wastes on the metabolism of common amphibian species of the Dnieper region – the marsh frog (Pelophylax ridibundus – from differently contaminated reservoirs. The change of protein, lipids and carbohydrates in organs and tissues of frogs with ageing and under influence of the pollution. Considerable increase of energy consumption at the expense of lipids and carbohydrates is one of biochemical adaptations. It promotes partial resistance of amphibians to the influence of uranium mining wastes.

  7. TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION AS PREDICTORS OF SPECIES RICHNESS IN NORTHERN ANDEAN AMPHIBIANS FROM COLOMBIA

    OpenAIRE

    Ortiz-Yusty Carlos Eduardo; Páez Vivian; Zapata Fernando

    2013-01-01

    Our objective was to explore the spatial distribution patterns of amphibian speciesrichness in Antioquia, as model for the tropical Andes, and determine how annualmean temperature, annual precipitation, and elevation range influence it. We alsobriefly compare local and global regression models for estimating the relationbetween environmental variables and species richness. Distribution maps for 223amphibian species and environmental variables were generalized onto grid mapsof 752 blocks each ...

  8. Relationships between trout stocking and amphibians in British Columbia's Southern Interior lakes

    OpenAIRE

    Hirner, Joanna Lynne McGarvie

    2006-01-01

    Stocking lakes with non-native trout to encourage recreational fishing causes changes in lake ecosystems that can negatively affect biodiversity. I examined associations between rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and amphibians in small lakes of British Columbia’s Southern Interior by comparing abundance, growth, and probability of presence of aquatic breeding amphibians between lakes with and without trout. My evidence suggests that abundance of long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum...

  9. Evaluation of seven aquatic sampling methods for amphibians and other aquatic fauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunzburger, M.S.

    2007-01-01

    To design effective and efficient research and monitoring programs researchers must have a thorough understanding of the capabilities and limitations of their sampling methods. Few direct comparative studies exist for aquatic sampling methods for amphibians. The objective of this study was to simultaneously employ seven aquatic sampling methods in 10 wetlands to compare amphibian species richness and number of individuals detected with each method. Four sampling methods allowed counts of individuals (metal dipnet, D-frame dipnet, box trap, crayfish trap), whereas the other three methods allowed detection of species (visual encounter, aural, and froglogger). Amphibian species richness was greatest with froglogger, box trap, and aural samples. For anuran species, the sampling methods by which each life stage was detected was related to relative length of larval and breeding periods and tadpole size. Detection probability of amphibians varied across sampling methods. Box trap sampling resulted in the most precise amphibian count, but the precision of all four count-based methods was low (coefficient of variation > 145 for all methods). The efficacy of the four count sampling methods at sampling fish and aquatic invertebrates was also analyzed because these predatory taxa are known to be important predictors of amphibian habitat distribution. Species richness and counts were similar for fish with the four methods, whereas invertebrate species richness and counts were greatest in box traps. An effective wetland amphibian monitoring program in the southeastern United States should include multiple sampling methods to obtain the most accurate assessment of species community composition at each site. The combined use of frogloggers, crayfish traps, and dipnets may be the most efficient and effective amphibian monitoring protocol. ?? 2007 Brill Academic Publishers.

  10. Waterbody availability and use by amphibian communities in a rural landscape

    OpenAIRE

    Plăiaşu, Rodica; Băncilă, Raluca; Samoilă, Ciprian; Hartel, Tibor; Cogălniceanu, Dan

    2012-01-01

    Rural landscapes in central and eastern Europe provide valuable ecosystem services and support high levels of biodiversity. These landscapes face an increasing pressure from human development and changes in agricultural practices. Pond-breeding amphibians and their breeding habitats are especially vulnerable to land-use changes. We studied waterbody use by amphibians in a rural landscape from Haţeg Geopark, Central Romania, a region where large areas are still under traditional land use. We s...

  11. Effects of timber harvesting on terrestrial survival of pond-breeding amphibians

    OpenAIRE

    Todd, BD; Blomquist, SM; Harper, EB; Osbourn, MS

    2014-01-01

    Successful forest management for multiple uses requires balancing extractive practices with maintaining biodiversity, among other important goals. Amphibians comprise an important and abundant part of the biodiversity of many forests. Previous studies have documented declines in the abundance and diversity of amphibians in harvested forests. However, only recently have studies begun to elucidate the mechanisms that underlie such declines. Here, we studied the effects of timber harvesting on s...

  12. Amphibians of Serra Bonita, southern Bahia: a new hotpoint within Brazil’s Atlantic Forest hotspot

    OpenAIRE

    Iuri Dias; Tadeu Medeiros; Marcos Vila Nova; Mirco Solé

    2014-01-01

    Abstract We studied the amphibian community of the Private Reserve of Natural Heritage (RPPN) Serra Bonita, an area of 20 km2 with steep altitudinal gradients (200–950 m a.s.l.) located in the municipalities of Camacan and Pau-Brasil, southern Bahia State, Brazil. Data were obtained at 38 sampling sites (including ponds and transects within the forest and in streams), through active and visual and acoustic searches, pitfall traps, and opportunistic encounters. We recorded 80 amphibian species...

  13. Effects of Changing Density and Food Level on Metamorphosis of a Desert Amphibian, Scaphiopus Couchii

    OpenAIRE

    Newman, R.A.

    1994-01-01

    Amphibians that breed in temporary ponds provide a good opportunity to study the ecological and evolutionary consequences of environmental variability. Ephemeral aquatic habitats provide larval amphibians a transient and highly variable opportunity for growth. In the desert ponds used by Couch's spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus couchii), tadpole density varies considerably among ponds and often increases within a pond as it dries. Models of optimal size and timing of metamorphosis predict that, rel...

  14. Man-made Mediterranean temporary ponds as a tool for amphibian conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Ruhí i Vidal, Albert; San Sebastian, Olatz; Feo, Carles; Franch, Marc; Gascón Garcia, Stéphanie; Richter Boix, Alex; Boix Masafret, Dani; Gustavo A. Llorente

    2012-01-01

    Mediterranean temporary ponds (MTPs) are crucial breeding sites for local amphibians, a faunal group in decline in the Mediterranean mainly due to wetland destruction. Although the disappearance of lentic habitats in other regions of the world has been ameliorated by the creation and restoration of wetlands, these tactics remain untested in Mediterranean wetlands. To evaluate the amphibian colonization dynamics of artificial MTPs in the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula, we monitored two artifi...

  15. Stable Isotopes Reveal Trophic Partitioning and Trophic Plasticity of a Larval Amphibian Guild

    OpenAIRE

    Arribas, Rosa; Díaz-Paniagua, Carmen; Caut, Stephane; Gomez-Mestre, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Temporary ponds are highly variable systems where resource availability and community structure change extensively over time, and consequently the food web is highly dynamic. Amphibians play a critical role both as consumers and prey in aquatic communities and yet there is still little information on the trophic status of most amphibians. More importantly, little is known about the extent to which they can alter their trophic ecology in response to changing conditions. We experimentally inves...

  16. Amphibians of Serra Bonita, southern Bahia: a new hotpoint within Brazil’s Atlantic Forest hotspot

    OpenAIRE

    Dias,Iuri; Medeiros,Tadeu; Vila Nova,Marcos; Solé, Mirco

    2014-01-01

    We studied the amphibian community of the Private Reserve of Natural Heritage (RPPN) Serra Bonita, an area of 20 km2 with steep altitudinal gradients (200–950 m a.s.l.) located in the municipalities of Camacan and Pau-Brasil, southern Bahia State, Brazil. Data were obtained at 38 sampling sites (including ponds and transects within the forest and in streams), through active and visual and acoustic searches, pitfall traps, and opportunistic encounters. We recorded 80 amphibian species distribu...

  17. Amphibian mortality events and ranavirus outbreaks in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patla, Debra A.; St-Hilaire, Sophia; Rayburn, Andrew P.; Hossack, Blake R.; Peterson, Charles R.

    2016-01-01

    Mortality events in wild amphibians go largely undocumented, and where events are detected, the numbers of dead amphibians observed are probably a small fraction of actual mortality (Green and Sherman 2001; Skerratt et al. 2007). Incidental observations from field surveys can, despite limitations, provide valuable information on the presence, host species, and spatial distribution of diseases. Here we summarize amphibian mortality events and diagnoses recorded from 2000 to 2014 in three management areas: Yellowstone National Park; Grand Teton National Park (including John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway); and the National Elk Refuge, which together span a large portion of protected areas within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE; Noss et al. 2002). Our combined amphibian monitoring projects (e.g., Gould et al. 2012) surveyed an average of 240 wetlands per year over the 15 years. Field crews recorded amphibian mortalities during visual encounter and dip-netting surveys and collected moribund and dead specimens for diagnostic examinations. Amphibian and fish research projects during these years contributed additional mortality observations, specimens, and diagnoses.

  18. Herpetofaunal assemblage with special emphasis on community structure and spatiality in amphibians of Cauvery delta region, Tamil Nadu

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anukul Nath

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We studied the amphibian community structure, spatial overlap and herpetofaunal assemblage at Mannampandal, Tamil Nadu during October, 2010 to January, 2011. The survey methods involved careful visual estimation of amphibians in all the possible microhabitats present in the study area. Five different microhabitat categories were selected, viz., leaf litters, temporary water pools, tree holes, shrubs & grasses (ground vegetation, pathways, open floor & outer edges of buildings. We identified 26 species of reptiles and 14 species of amphibians. There was a significant difference found among the amphibian species occupying in different microhabitats. Species diversity was calculated, Shanon-Wiener H'= 1.55. The high niche overlap was found between Duttaphrynus scaber and Uperodon systoma followed by Fejervarya sp. and Sphaerotheca breviceps. The present study on amphibian community is just a representation to show the microhabitat occupancy and adjustment by the amphibians in human settlements and competition among them as, spatial resource partitioning.

  19. Diversity and abundance of amphibian species in the Guguftu highland and Chefa wetland, Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Abeje Kassie Teme; Mengistu Wale Mollaleign; Asersie MekonnenAregie

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To describe the population status, abundance and diversity of amphibians found in Guguftu highland and Chefa wetland. Methods: The present study dealed with amphibian diversity at Guguftu highland and Chefa wetland during the period of August 2015 to September 2015. Transect line and visual encounter survey methods were used in careful visual estimation and amphibians were recorded in all possible habitats of the study area. Results: The total of 251 individuals of amphibians within 12 species grouped into 5 families were recorded in the Guguftu highland and Chefa wetland. Chefa wetland had the highest species abundance as well as richness with a total of 231 individuals falling in 11 species. Conclusions: This study reveals that the Chefa wetland is rich in amphibian diversity and supports many more species. Further studies are needed on molecular basis, population structure, habitat use by amphibians for better understanding and also imposing several conservation strategies in Chefa wetland.

  20. Diversity and abundance of amphibian species in the Guguftu highland and Chefa wetland, Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abeje Kassie Teme

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To describe the population status, abundance and diversity of amphibians found in Guguftu highland and Chefa wetland. Methods: The present study dealed with amphibian diversity at Guguftu highland and Chefa wetland during the period of August 2015 to September 2015. Transect line and visual encounter survey methods were used in careful visual estimation and amphibians were recorded in all possible habitats of the study area. Results: The total of 251 individuals of amphibians within 12 species grouped into 5 families were recorded in the Guguftu highland and Chefa wetland. Chefa wetland had the highest species abundance as well as richness with a total of 231 individuals falling in 11 species. Conclusions: This study reveals that the Chefa wetland is rich in amphibian diversity and supports many more species. Further studies are needed on molecular basis, population structure, habitat use by amphibians for better understanding and also imposing several conservation strategies in Chefa wetland.

  1. Screening chemicals for thyroid-disrupting activity: A critical comparison of mammalian and amphibian models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickford, Daniel B

    2010-11-01

    In order to minimize risks to human and environmental health, chemical safety assessment programs are being reinforced with toxicity tests more specifically designed for detecting endocrine disrupters. This includes the necessity to detect thyroid-disrupting chemicals, which may operate through a variety of modes of action, and have potential to impair neurological development in humans, with resulting deficits of individual and social potential. Mindful of these concerns, the consensus favors in vivo models for both hazard characterization (testing) and hazard identification (screening) steps, in order to minimize false negatives. Owing to its obligate dependence on thyroid hormones, it has been proposed that amphibian metamorphosis be used as a generalized vertebrate model for thyroid function in screening batteries for detection of thyroid disrupters. However, it seems unlikely that such an assay would ever fully replace in vivo mammalian assays currently being validated for human health risk assessment: in its current form the amphibian metamorphosis screening assay would not provide capacity for reliably detecting other modes of endocrine-disrupting activity. Conversely, several candidate mammalian screening assays appear to offer robust capacity to detect a variety of modes of endocrine-disrupting activity, including thyroid activity. To assess whether omission of an amphibian metamorphosis assay from an in vivo screening battery would generate false negatives, the response of amphibian and mammalian assays to a variety known thyroid disrupters, as reported in peer-reviewed literature or government agency reports, was critically reviewed. Of the chemicals investigated from the literature selected (41), more had been tested in mammalian studies with thyroid-relevant endpoints (32) than in amphibian assays with appropriate windows of exposure and developmental endpoints (27). One chemical (methoxychlor) was reported to exhibit thyroid activity in an appropriate

  2. The unique myelopoiesis strategy of the amphibian Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaparla, Amulya; Wendel, Emily S; Grayfer, Leon

    2016-10-01

    Myeloid progenitors reside within specific hematopoietic organs and commit to progenitor lineages bearing megakaryocyte/erythrocyte (MEP) or granulocyte/macrophage potentials (GMP) within these sites. Unlike other vertebrates, the amphibian Xenopus laevis committed macrophage precursors are absent from the hematopoietic subcapsular liver and instead reside within their bone marrow. Presently, we demonstrate that while these frogs' liver-derived cells are unresponsive to recombinant forms of principal X. laevis macrophage (colony-stimulating factor-1; CSF-1) and granulocyte (CSF-3) growth factors, bone marrow cells cultured with CSF-1 and CSF-3 exhibit respectively archetypal macrophage and granulocyte morphology, gene expression and functionalities. Moreover, we demonstrate that liver, but not bone marrow cells possess erythropoietic capacities when stimulated with a X. laevis erythropoietin. Together, our findings indicate that X. laevis retain their MEP within the hematopoietic liver while sequestering their GMP to the bone marrow, thus marking a very novel myelopoietic strategy as compared to those seen in other jawed vertebrate species. PMID:27234705

  3. Autonomic control of cardiorespiratory interactions in fish, amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, E W; Leite, C A C; Skovgaard, N

    2010-07-01

    Control of the heart rate and cardiorespiratory interactions (CRI) is predominantly parasympathetic in all jawed vertebrates, with the sympathetic nervous system having some influence in tetrapods. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) has been described as a solely mammalian phenomenon but respiration-related beat-to-beat control of the heart has been described in fish and reptiles. Though they are both important, the relative roles of feed-forward central control and peripheral reflexes in generating CRI vary between groups of fishes and probably between other vertebrates. CRI may relate to two locations for the vagal preganglionic neurons (VPN) and in particular cardiac VPN in the brainstem. This has been described in representatives from all vertebrate groups, though the proportion in each location is variable. Air-breathing fishes, amphibians and reptiles breathe discontinuously and the onset of a bout of breathing is characteristically accompanied by an immediate increase in heart rate plus, in the latter two groups, a left-right shunting of blood through the pulmonary circuit. Both the increase in heart rate and opening of a sphincter on the pulmonary artery are due to withdrawal of vagal tone. An increase in heart rate following a meal in snakes is related to withdrawal of vagal tone plus a non-adrenergic-non-cholinergic effect that may be due to humoral factors released by the gut. Histamine is one candidate for this role. PMID:20464342

  4. Innervation of amphibian reproductive system. Histological and ultrastructural studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisint, Susana; Crespo, Claudia A; Medina, Marcela F; Iruzubieta Villagra, Lucrecia; Fernández, Silvia N; Ramos, Inés

    2014-10-01

    In the present study we describe for the first time in anuran amphibians the histological and ultrastructural characteristics of innervation in the female reproductive organs. The observations in Rhinella arenarum revealed the presence of nerve fibers located predominantly in the ovarian hilium and in the oviduct wall. In both organs the nerves fibers are placed near blood vessels and smooth muscles fibers. In the present study the histological observations were confirmed using antibodies against peripherin and neurofilament 200 proteins. Ultrastructural analyses demonstrated that the innervation of the reproductive organs is constituted by unmyelinated nerve fibers surrounded by Schwann cells. Axon terminals contain a population of small, clear, translucent vesicles that coexist with a few dense cored vesicles. The ultrastructural characteristics together with the immunopositive reaction to tyrosine hydroxylase of the nerve fibers and the type of synaptic vesicles present in the axon terminal would indicate that the reproductive organs of R. arenarum females are innervated by the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system. PMID:24882461

  5. Invasive reptiles and amphibians: global perspectives and local solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, R.N.; Kraus, F.

    2010-01-01

    In the annals of invasive species biology, higher taxa such asmammals, plants and insects have received the lion’s shareof research attention, largely because many of these invadershave demonstrated a remarkable ability to degrade ecosys-tems and cause economic harm. Interest in invasive reptilesand amphibians (collectively ‘herpetofauna’, colloquially‘herps’) has historically lagged but is now garnering in-creased scrutiny as a result of their escalating pace ofinvasion. A few herpetofaunal invaders have received con-siderable attention in scientific and popular accounts, in-cluding the brown treesnakeBoiga irregularison Guam,Burmese pythonPython molurusin Florida, Coqu´ıEleutherodactylus coquiin Hawaii and cane toadBufomarinusin Australia. However, relatively few are aware ofmany emerging and potentially injurious herpetofaunalinvaders, such as Nile monitorsVaranus niloticusin Flor-ida, common kingsnakesLampropeltis getulain the CanaryIslands, boa constrictorsBoa constrictoron Aruba andCozumel, or a variety of giant constrictor snakes in PuertoRico. For the vast majority of the most commonlyintroduced species, real or potential impacts to nativeecosystems or human economic interests are poorly under-stood and incompletely explored; major pathways of intro-duction have only recently been elucidated, and effectivemanagement interventions have been limited (Kraus, 2009).

  6. Plasticity of lung development in the amphibian, Xenopus laevis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher S. Rose

    2013-10-01

    Contrary to previous studies, we found that Xenopus laevis tadpoles raised in normoxic water without access to air can routinely complete metamorphosis with lungs that are either severely stunted and uninflated or absent altogether. This is the first demonstration that lung development in a tetrapod can be inhibited by environmental factors and that a tetrapod that relies significantly on lung respiration under unstressed conditions can be raised to forego this function without adverse effects. This study compared lung development in untreated, air-deprived (AD and air-restored (AR tadpoles and frogs using whole mounts, histology, BrdU labeling of cell division and antibody staining of smooth muscle actin. We also examined the relationship of swimming and breathing behaviors to lung recovery in AR animals. Inhibition and recovery of lung development occurred at the stage of lung inflation. Lung recovery in AR tadpoles occurred at a predictable and rapid rate and correlated with changes in swimming and breathing behavior. It thus presents a new experimental model for investigating the role of mechanical forces in lung development. Lung recovery in AR frogs was unpredictable and did not correlate with behavioral changes. Its low frequency of occurrence could be attributed to developmental, physical and behavioral changes, the effects of which increase with size and age. Plasticity of lung inflation at tadpole stages and loss of plasticity at postmetamorphic stages offer new insights into the role of developmental plasticity in amphibian lung loss and life history evolution.

  7. Fighting a losing battle: vigorous immune response countered by pathogen suppression of host defenses in the chytridiomycosis-susceptible frog Atelopus zeteki.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Amy R; Savage, Anna E; DiRenzo, Grace V; Langhammer, Penny; Lips, Karen R; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2014-07-01

    The emergence of the disease chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been implicated in dramatic global amphibian declines. Although many species have undergone catastrophic declines and/or extinctions, others appear to be unaffected or persist at reduced frequencies after Bd outbreaks. The reasons behind this variance in disease outcomes are poorly understood: differences in host immune responses have been proposed, yet previous studies suggest a lack of robust immune responses to Bd in susceptible species. Here, we sequenced transcriptomes from clutch-mates of a highly susceptible amphibian, Atelopus zeteki, with different infection histories. We found significant changes in expression of numerous genes involved in innate and inflammatory responses in infected frogs despite high susceptibility to chytridiomycosis. We show evidence of acquired immune responses generated against Bd, including increased expression of immunoglobulins and major histocompatibility complex genes. In addition, fungal-killing genes had significantly greater expression in frogs previously exposed to Bd compared with Bd-naïve frogs, including chitinase and serine-type proteases. However, our results appear to confirm recent in vitro evidence of immune suppression by Bd, demonstrated by decreased expression of lymphocyte genes in the spleen of infected compared with control frogs. We propose susceptibility to chytridiomycosis is not due to lack of Bd-specific immune responses but instead is caused by failure of those responses to be effective. Ineffective immune pathway activation and timing of antibody production are discussed as potential mechanisms. However, in light of our findings, suppression of key immune responses by Bd is likely an important factor in the lethality of this fungus. PMID:24841130

  8. Radioecological studies of amphibians. Final report, September 15, 1968--July 21, 1977

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The radioecological role of amphibians in freshwater environments was studied. Three distinct aspects were studied: (1) the metabolism of radioecologically important radionuclides in amphibians; (2) the effect of acute doses of radiation on adult amphibians; and (3) the effect of chronic exposure to low radiation dose rates from radionuclide solutions on embryonic and larval amphibians. Twelve radioecologically important radionuclides were investigated in five different amphibian species. This involved tracing uptake from immersion, whole-body retention, and patterns of tissue and organ distribution. In most cases work was done at two different temperatures approximating winter and summer conditions. The radiosensitivity of the rough-skinned newt was determined over a very wide dose range. The same dose-response curve characteristic of mammals was found. However, survival times were greatly prolonged. The effect of environmental temperature on radiosensitivity was also studied. To ascertain evidence for repair mechanisms, a fractionated dose study was carried out. The effect of dose-rate was also studied. The effect of chronic low dose-rates from 134Cs solutions was traced for two frog species. Total dose was a function of time to metamorphosis, which differed by a factor of two in these species. In general, mortality levels exceeded those of controls only at 134Cs concentrations several orders of magnitude greater than MPC levels in drinking water

  9. The Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas: A Volunteer-Based Distributional Survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather R. Cunningham

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Declines of amphibian and reptile populations are well documented. Yet a lack of understanding of their distribution may hinder conservation planning for these species. The Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas project (MARA was launched in 2010. This five-year, citizen science project will document the distribution of the 93 amphibian and reptile species in Maryland. During the 2010 and 2011 field seasons, 488 registered MARA volunteers collected 13,919 occurrence records that document 85 of Maryland's amphibian and reptile species, including 19 frog, 20 salamander, five lizard, 25 snake, and 16 turtle species. Thirteen of these species are of conservation concern in Maryland. The MARA will establish a baseline by which future changes in the distribution of populations of native herpetofauna can be assessed as well as provide information for immediate management actions for rare and threatened species. As a citizen science project it has the added benefit of educating citizens about native amphibian and reptile diversity and its ecological benefits—an important step in creating an informed society that actively participates in the long-term conservation of Maryland's nature heritage.

  10. Descriptive risk assessment of the effects of acidic deposition on Rocky Mountain amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn, Paul Stephen; Vertucci, Frank A.

    1992-01-01

    We evaluated the risk of habitat acidification to the six species of amphibians that occur in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming. Our evaluation included extrinsic environmental factors (habitat sensitivity and amount of acidic atmospheric deposition) and species-specific intrinsic factors (sensitivity to acid conditions, habitat preferences, and timing of breeding). Only one of 57 surveyed localities had both acid neutralizing capacity μeq/L and sulfate deposition >10 kg/ha/yr, extrinsic conditions with a possible risk of acidification. Amphibian breeding habitats in the Rocky Mountains do not appear to be sufficiently acidic to kill amphibian embryos. Some species breed in high-elevation vernal pools during snowmelt, and an acidic pulse during snowmelt may pose a risk to embryos of these species. However, the acidic pulse, if present, probably occurs before open water appears and before breeding begins. Although inherent variability of amphibian population size may make detection of declines from anthropogenic effects difficult, acidic deposition is unlikely to have caused the observed declines of Bufo boreas and Rana pipiens in Colorado and Wyoming. Amphibians in the Rocky Mountains are not likely to be at risk with acidification inputs at present levels.

  11. Low thermal tolerances of stream amphibians in the Pacific Northwest: Implications for riparian and forest management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bury, R.B.

    2008-01-01

    Temperature has a profound effect on survival and ecology of amphibians. In the Pacific Northwest, timber harvest is known to increase peak stream temperatures to 24??C or higher, which has potential to negatively impact cold-water stream amphibians. I determined the Critical Thermal Maxima (CT max) for two salamanders that are endemic to the Pacific Northwest. Rhyacotriton variegatus larvae acclimated at 10??C had mean CTmax of 26.7 ?? 0.7 SD??C and adults acclimated at 11??C had mean CT max of 27.9 ?? 1.1??C. These were among the lowest known values for any amphibian. Values were significantly higher for larval Dicamptodon tenebrosus acclimated at 14??C (x = 29.1 ?? 0.2??C). Although the smallest R. variegatus had some of the lowest values, size of larvae and adults did not influence CTmax in this species. Current forest practices retain riparian buffers along larger fish-bearing streams; however, such buffers along smaller headwaters and non-fish bearing streams may provide favorable habitat conditions for coldwater-associated species in the Pacific Northwest. The current study lends further evidence to the need for protection of Northwest stream amphibians from environmental perturbations. Forest guidelines that include riparian buffer zones and configurations of upland stands should be developed, while monitoring amphibian responses to determine their success. ?? 2008 Brill Academic Publishers.

  12. The potential influence of environmental pollution on amphibian development and decline

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jung, R.E.

    1996-12-31

    Globally, amphibians are reportedly declining. Environmental pollution has been hypothesized to be associated with declines. Because of their aquatic development and permeable eggs, skin and gills, amphibians, like fishes, may be particularly susceptible to poor water quality or waterborne pollutants. This dissertation addresses effects of global pollutants such as pesticides, acid rain and associated metal toxicity, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on the development, behavior, and physiology of amphibian early life stages. This report contains only chapter six and conclusions. Chapter 6 reports on a field experiment in which green frogs from two clutches were exposed from egg to 107 days of age to water and sediments in enclosures along a PCB and metal contamination gradient in the Fox River and wetlands near Green Bay, Wisconsin. Green frogs showed lower hatching success and survival at sites with higher contaminant levels compared to cleaner wetland sites along Green Bay. Hatching success in the green frog was most significantly negatively correlated with sediment PCB levels. It can be concluded that environmental pollution and toxicants in aquatic environments can cause problems for amphibian early development. Sometimes the effects are subtle, and sometimes they are dramatic. In general, amphibian early life stages seem particularly sensitive to environmentally-realistic levels of low pH and metals, but appear more tolerant of TCDD and PCBs.

  13. Pathogen Phytosensing: Plants to Report Plant Pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Neal Stewart

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Real-time systems that provide evidence of pathogen contamination in crops can be an important new line of early defense in agricultural centers. Plants possess defense mechanisms to protect against pathogen attack. Inducible plant defense is controlled by signal transduction pathways, inducible promoters and cis-regulatory elements corresponding to key genes involved in defense, and pathogen-specific responses. Identified inducible promoters and cis-acting elements could be utilized in plant sentinels, or ‘phytosensors’, by fusing these to reporter genes to produce plants with altered phenotypes in response to the presence of pathogens. Here, we have employed cis-acting elements from promoter regions of pathogen inducible genes as well as those responsive to the plant defense signal molecules salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, and ethylene. Synthetic promoters were constructed by combining various regulatory elements supplemented with the enhancer elements from the Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV 35S promoter to increase basal level of the GUS expression. The inducibility of each synthetic promoter was first assessed in transient expression assays using Arabidopsis thaliana protoplasts and then examined for efficacy in stably transgenic Arabidopsis and tobacco plants. Histochemical and fluorometric GUS expression analyses showed that both transgenic Arabidopsis and tobacco plants responded to elicitor and phytohormone treatments with increased GUS expression when compared to untreated plants. Pathogen-inducible phytosensor studies were initiated by analyzing the sensitivity of the synthetic promoters against virus infection. Transgenic tobacco plants infected with Alfalfa mosaic virus showed an increase in GUS expression when compared to mock-inoculated control plants, whereas Tobacco mosaic virus infection caused no changes in GUS expression. Further research, using these transgenic plants against a range of different

  14. High amphibian diversity related to unexpected environmental values in a biogeographic transitional area in north-western Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Serrano, J.M.; Berlanga-Robles, C.A.; Ruiz-Luna, A.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibian diversity and distribution patterns in Sinaloa state (north-western Mexico) were assessed from the Global Amphibian Assessment database (GAA-2010). A geographic information system (GIS) was used to evaluate diversity based on distribution maps of 41 species, associated with environmental d

  15. Characterizing the width of amphibian movements during postbreeding migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coster, Stephanie S; Veysey Powell, Jessica S; Babbitt, Kimberly J

    2014-06-01

    Habitat linkages can help maintain connectivity of animal populations in developed landscapes. However, the lack of empirical data on the width of lateral movements (i.e., the zigzagging of individuals as they move from one point to point another) makes determining the width of such linkages challenging. We used radiotracking data from wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) in a managed forest in Maine (U.S.A.) to characterize movement patterns of populations and thus inform planning for the width of wildlife corridors. For each individual, we calculated the polar coordinates of all locations, estimated the vector sum of the polar coordinates, and measured the distance from each location to the vector sum. By fitting a Gaussian distribution over a histogram of these distances, we created a population-level probability density function and estimated the 50th and 95th percentiles to determine the width of lateral movement as individuals progressed from the pond to upland habitat. For spotted salamanders 50% of lateral movements were ≤13 m wide and 95% of movements were ≤39 m wide. For wood frogs, 50% of lateral movements were ≤17 m wide and 95% of movements were ≤ 51 m wide. For both species, those individuals that traveled the farthest from the pond also displayed the greatest lateral movement. Our results serve as a foundation for spatially explicit conservation planning for pond-breeding amphibians in areas undergoing development. Our technique can also be applied to movement data from other taxa to aid in designing habitat linkages. PMID:24423254

  16. The envelopes of amphibian oocytes: physiological modifications in Bufo arenarum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sánchez Mercedes

    2003-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A characterization of the Amphibian Bufo arenarum oocyte envelope is presented. It was made in different functional conditions of the oocyte: 1 when it has been released into the coelomic cavity during ovulation (surrounded by the coelomic envelope, (CE, 2 after it has passed through the oviduct and is deposed (surrounded by the viteline envelope, (VE, and 3 after oocyte activation (surrounded by the fertilization envelope, (FE. The characterization was made by SDS-PAGE followed by staining for protein and glycoproteins. Labeled lectins were used to identify glycosidic residues both in separated components on nitrocellulose membranes or in intact oocytes and embryos. Proteolytic properties of the content of the cortical granules were also analyzed. After SDS-PAGE of CE and VE, a different protein pattern was observed. This is probably due to the activity of a protease present in the pars recta of the oviduct. Comparison of the SDS-PAGE pattern of VE and FE showed a different mobility for one of the glycoproteins, gp75. VE and FE proved to have different sugar residues in their oligosaccharide chains. Mannose residues are only present in gp120 of the three envelopes. N-acetyl-galactosamine residues are present in all of the components, except for gp69 in the FE. Galactose residues are present mainly in gp120 of FE. Lectin-binding assays indicate the presence of glucosamine, galactose and N-acetyl galactosamine residues and the absence (or non-availability of N-acetyl-glucosamine or fucose residues on the envelopes surface. The cortical granule product (CGP shows proteolytic activity on gp75 of the VE.

  17. Amphibians as Model Organisms for Studying the Dynamics of Eukaryote Genetic Material Architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burlibaşa, L.

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Amphibians have played a key role in the elucidation of the mechanisms of early development over the last century. Much of our knowledge about the mechanisms of vertebrate early development comes from studies using Xenopus laevis. Xenopus sp. is a major contributor to our understanding of cell biological and biochemical processes, including: (1 chromosome replication; (2 chromatin, cytoskeleton and nuclear assembly; (3 cell cycle progression and (4 intracellular signaling. Amphibian embryos remained the embryos of choice for experimental embryology for many decades. European embryologists used predominantly urodele embryos (such as Triturus and embryos of the frog Rana temporaria, which is related to the North American species Rana pipiens. Using light, fluorescence, transmission electron microscopy (TEM and molecular investigations, some peculiar aspects of chromatin and chromosome organization and evolution in oogenesis and spermatogenesis of amphibians were investigated. We have focused our investigations on dynamics of the chromatin structure in different stages of development.

  18. Challenges in evaluating the impact of the trade in amphibians and reptiles on wild populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlaepfer, Martin A.; Hoover, Craig; Dodd, C. Kenneth, Jr.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles are taken from the wild and sold commercially as food, pets, and traditional medicines. The overcollecting of some species highlights the need to assess the trade and ensure that it is not contributing to declines in wild populations. Unlike most countries, the United States tracks the imports and exports of all amphibians and reptiles. Records from 1998 to 2002 reveal a US trade of several million wild-caught amphibians and reptiles each year, although many shipments are not recorded at the species level. The magnitude and content of the global commercial trade carries even greater unknowns. The absence of accurate trade and biological information for most species makes it difficult to establish whether current take levels are sustainable. The void of information also implies that population declines due to overcollecting could be going undetected. Policy changes to acquire baseline biological information and ensure a sustainable trade are urgently needed.

  19. Climate warming and the decline of amphibians and reptiles in Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Araújo, Miguel B.; Thuiller, W.; Pearson, R. G.

    2006-01-01

    Aim We explore the relationship between current European distributions of amphibian and reptile species and observed climate, and project species potential distributions into the future. Potential impacts of climate warming are assessed by quantifying the magnitude and direction of modelled...... distributional shifts for every species. In particular we ask, first, what proportion of amphibian and reptile species are projected to lose and gain suitable climate space in the future? Secondly, do species projections vary according to taxonomic, spatial or environmental properties? And thirdly, what climate...... of forecasts is then used to group linearly covarying projections into clusters with reduced inter-model variability. Results We show that a great proportion of amphibian and reptile species are projected to expand distributions if dispersal is unlimited. This is because warming in the cooler...

  20. Impact of otter (Lutra lutra predation on amphibians in temporary ponds in Southern Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan Cogălniceanu

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available We report the observation of an event of mortality of ribbed newts (Pleurodeles waltl and Iberian spadefoot toads (Pelobates cultripes due to predation by a pair of otters (Lutra lutra in a temporary pond complex in southern Spain. The peculiar predation mode on ribbed newts, with extraction of soft organs through an incision in the upper part of the thorax, may result in an under estimate of the importance of this species in the diet of otters. The high number of dead amphibians killed by two otters in only several hours suggests that the presence of these predators may pose a serious threat to amphibian populations. The risk is especially high in arid areas, with few ponds, synchronous reproductive migration, and high density of animals. We consider that measures promoting the conservation and population and range increase of otters might have a negative impact on amphibians.