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Sample records for chytrid batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

  1. Chytrid Fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis , in Wild Populations of the Lake Titicaca Frog, Telmatobius culeus, in Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berenguel, Raul A; Elias, Roberto K; Weaver, Thomas J; Reading, Richard P

    2016-10-01

    The Lake Titicaca frog (Telmatobius culeus) is critically endangered, primarily from overexploitation. However, additional threats, such as chytrid fungus ( Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ), are poorly studied. We found moderate levels of chytrid infection using quantitative PCR. Our results enhance our understanding of chytrid tolerance to high pH and low water temperature.

  2. Efficacy of SYBR 14/propidium iodide viability stain for the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockwell, M P; Clulow, J; Mahony, M J

    2010-01-25

    The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a recently described pathogen that has been implicated as a causal agent in the global decline in amphibians. Research into its biology and epidemiology has frequently involved in vitro experimentation. However, this research is currently limited by the inability to differentiate between viable and inviable zoospores. Stains are frequently used to determine cell viability, and this study tested a 2-colour fluorescence assay for the detection and quantification of viable B. dendrobatidis zoospores. The results show that the nucleic acid stains SYBR 14 and propidium iodide are effective in distinguishing live from dead zoospores, and a protocol has been optimized for their use. This viability assay provides an efficient and reliable tool that will have applications in B. dendrobatidis challenge and amphibian exposure experiments.

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

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    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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deanna H. Olson; David M. Aanensen; Kathryn L. Ronnenberg; Christopher I. Powell; Susan F. Walker; Jon Bielby; Trenton W.J. Garner; George Weaver; Matthew C. Fisher

    2013-01-01

    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...

  8. Low prevalence of chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in amphibians of U.S

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    Blake R. Hossack; Michael J. Adams; Evan H. Campbell Grant; Christopher A. Pearl; James B. Bettaso; William J. Barichivich; Winsor H. Lowe; Kimberly True; Joy L. Ware; Paul Stephen Corn

    2010-01-01

    Many declines of amphibian populations have been associated with chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Despite the relatively high prevalence of chytridiomycosis in stream amphibians globally, most surveys in North America have focused primarily on wetland-associated species, which are frequently infected. To...

  9. Low prevalence of chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in amphibians of U.S. headwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Adams, Michael J.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Pearl, Chistopher A.; Bettaso, James B.; Barichivich, William J.; Lowe, Winsor H.; True, Kimberly; Ware, Joy L.; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2010-01-01

    Many declines of amphibian populations have been associated with chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Despite the relatively high prevalence of chytridiomycosis in stream amphibians globally, most surveys in North America have focused primarily on wetland-associated species, which are frequently infected. To better understand the distribution and prevalence of Bd in headwater amphibian communities, we sampled 452 tailed frogs (Ascaphus truei and Ascaphus montanus) and 304 stream salamanders (seven species in the Dicamptodontidae and Plethodontidae) for Bd in 38, first- to third-order streams in five montane areas across the United States. We tested for presence of Bd by using PCR on skin swabs from salamanders and metamorphosed tailed frogs or the oral disc of frog larvae. We detected Bd on only seven individuals (0.93%) in four streams. Based on our study and results from five other studies that have sampled headwater- or seep-associated amphibians in the United States, Bd has been detected on only 3% of 1,322 individuals from 21 species. These results differ strongly from surveys in Central America and Australia, where Bd is more prevalent on stream-breeding species, as well as results from wetland-associated anurans in the same regions of the United States that we sampled. Differences in the prevalence of Bd between stream- and wetland-associated amphibians in the United States may be related to species-specific variation in susceptibility to chytridiomycosis or habitat differences.

  10. Fluorescent probes as a tool for labelling and tracking the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

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    Herbert, Sarah M; Leung, Tommy L F; Bishop, Phillip J

    2011-09-09

    The dissemination of the virulent pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has contributed to the decline and extinction of many amphibian species worldwide. Several different strains have been identified, some of which are sympatric. Interactions between co-infecting strains of a pathogen can have significant influences on disease epidemiology and evolution; therefore the dynamics of multi-strain infections is an important area of research. We stained Bd cells with 2 fluorescent BODIPY fatty acid probes to determine whether these can potentially be used to distinguish and track Bd cell lines in multi-strain experiments. Bd cells in broth culture were stained with 5 concentrations of green-fluorescent BODIPY FL and red-fluorescent BODIPY 558/568 and visualised under an epifluorescent microscope for up to 16 d post-dye. Dyed strains were also assessed for growth inhibition. The most effective concentration for both dyes was 10 pM. This concentration of dye produced strong fluorescence for 12 to 16 d in Bd cultures held at 23 degrees C (3 to 4 generations), and did not inhibit Bd growth. Cells dyed with BODIPY FL and BODIPY 558/568 can be distinguished from each other on the basis of their fluorescence characteristics. Therefore, it is likely that this technique will be useful for research into multi-strain dynamics of Bd infections.

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

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    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; Plötner, Jörg; Ohler, Annemarie; Leaché, Adam D.; Rödel, Mark-Oliver

    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 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). PMID:23426141

  12. Unlocking the story in the swab: A new genotyping assay for the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

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    Byrne, Allison Q; Rothstein, Andrew P; Poorten, Thomas J; Erens, Jesse; Settles, Matthew L; Rosenblum, Erica Bree

    2017-11-01

    One of the most devastating emerging pathogens of wildlife is the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which affects hundreds of amphibian species around the world. Genomic data from pure Bd cultures have advanced our understanding of Bd phylogenetics, genomic architecture and mechanisms of virulence. However, pure cultures are laborious to obtain and whole-genome sequencing is comparatively expensive, so relatively few isolates have been genetically characterized. Thus, we still know little about the genetic diversity of Bd in natural systems. The most common noninvasive method of sampling Bd from natural populations is to swab amphibian skin. Hundreds of thousands of swabs have been collected from amphibians around the world, but Bd DNA collected via swabs is often low in quality and/or quantity. In this study, we developed a custom Bd genotyping assay using the Fluidigm Access Array platform to amplify 192 carefully selected regions of the Bd genome. We obtained robust sequence data for pure Bd cultures and field-collected skin swabs. This new assay has the power to accurately discriminate among the major Bd clades, recovering the basic tree topology previously revealed using whole-genome data. Additionally, we established a critical value for initial Bd load for swab samples (150 Bd genomic equivalents) above which our assay performs well. By leveraging advances in microfluidic multiplex PCR technology and the globally distributed resource of amphibian swab samples, noninvasive skin swabs can now be used to address critical spatial and temporal questions about Bd and its effects on declining amphibian populations. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Rapid Response to Evaluate the Presence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus in Wild Amphibian Populations in Madagascar

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    Kolby, Jonathan E.; Smith, Kristine M.; Ramirez, Sara D.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana; Pessier, Allan P.; Brunner, Jesse L.; Goldberg, Caren S.; Berger, Lee; Skerratt, Lee F.

    2015-01-01

    We performed a rapid response investigation to evaluate the presence and distribution of amphibian pathogens in Madagascar following our identification of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranavirus in commercially exported amphibians. This targeted risk-based field surveillance program was conducted from February to April 2014 encompassing 12 regions and 47 survey sites. We simultaneously collected amphibian and environmental samples to increase survey sensitivity and performed sampling both in wilderness areas and commercial amphibian trade facilities. Bd was not detected in any of 508 amphibian skin swabs or 68 water filter samples, suggesting pathogen prevalence was below 0.8%, with 95% confidence during our visit. Ranavirus was detected in 5 of 97 amphibians, including one adult Mantidactylus cowanii and three unidentified larvae from Ranomafana National Park, and one adult Mantidactylus mocquardi from Ankaratra. Ranavirus was also detected in water samples collected from two commercial amphibian export facilities. We also provide the first report of an amphibian mass-mortality event observed in wild amphibians in Madagascar. Although neither Bd nor ranavirus appeared widespread in Madagascar during this investigation, additional health surveys are required to disentangle potential seasonal variations in pathogen abundance and detectability from actual changes in pathogen distribution and rates of spread. Accordingly, our results should be conservatively interpreted until a comparable survey effort during winter months has been performed. It is imperative that biosecurity practices be immediately adopted to limit the unintentional increased spread of disease through the movement of contaminated equipment or direct disposal of contaminated material from wildlife trade facilities. The presence of potentially introduced strains of ranaviruses suggests that Madagascar's reptile species might also be threatened by disease

  14. 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.

  15. Rapid Response to Evaluate the Presence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Ranavirus in Wild Amphibian Populations in Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Kolby

    Full Text Available We performed a rapid response investigation to evaluate the presence and distribution of amphibian pathogens in Madagascar following our identification of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd and ranavirus in commercially exported amphibians. This targeted risk-based field surveillance program was conducted from February to April 2014 encompassing 12 regions and 47 survey sites. We simultaneously collected amphibian and environmental samples to increase survey sensitivity and performed sampling both in wilderness areas and commercial amphibian trade facilities. Bd was not detected in any of 508 amphibian skin swabs or 68 water filter samples, suggesting pathogen prevalence was below 0.8%, with 95% confidence during our visit. Ranavirus was detected in 5 of 97 amphibians, including one adult Mantidactylus cowanii and three unidentified larvae from Ranomafana National Park, and one adult Mantidactylus mocquardi from Ankaratra. Ranavirus was also detected in water samples collected from two commercial amphibian export facilities. We also provide the first report of an amphibian mass-mortality event observed in wild amphibians in Madagascar. Although neither Bd nor ranavirus appeared widespread in Madagascar during this investigation, additional health surveys are required to disentangle potential seasonal variations in pathogen abundance and detectability from actual changes in pathogen distribution and rates of spread. Accordingly, our results should be conservatively interpreted until a comparable survey effort during winter months has been performed. It is imperative that biosecurity practices be immediately adopted to limit the unintentional increased spread of disease through the movement of contaminated equipment or direct disposal of contaminated material from wildlife trade facilities. The presence of potentially introduced strains of ranaviruses suggests that Madagascar's reptile species might also be threatened by

  16. Rapid Response to Evaluate the Presence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus in Wild Amphibian Populations in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Smith, Kristine M; Ramirez, Sara D; Rabemananjara, Falitiana; Pessier, Allan P; Brunner, Jesse L; Goldberg, Caren S; Berger, Lee; Skerratt, Lee F

    2015-01-01

    We performed a rapid response investigation to evaluate the presence and distribution of amphibian pathogens in Madagascar following our identification of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranavirus in commercially exported amphibians. This targeted risk-based field surveillance program was conducted from February to April 2014 encompassing 12 regions and 47 survey sites. We simultaneously collected amphibian and environmental samples to increase survey sensitivity and performed sampling both in wilderness areas and commercial amphibian trade facilities. Bd was not detected in any of 508 amphibian skin swabs or 68 water filter samples, suggesting pathogen prevalence was below 0.8%, with 95% confidence during our visit. Ranavirus was detected in 5 of 97 amphibians, including one adult Mantidactylus cowanii and three unidentified larvae from Ranomafana National Park, and one adult Mantidactylus mocquardi from Ankaratra. Ranavirus was also detected in water samples collected from two commercial amphibian export facilities. We also provide the first report of an amphibian mass-mortality event observed in wild amphibians in Madagascar. Although neither Bd nor ranavirus appeared widespread in Madagascar during this investigation, additional health surveys are required to disentangle potential seasonal variations in pathogen abundance and detectability from actual changes in pathogen distribution and rates of spread. Accordingly, our results should be conservatively interpreted until a comparable survey effort during winter months has been performed. It is imperative that biosecurity practices be immediately adopted to limit the unintentional increased spread of disease through the movement of contaminated equipment or direct disposal of contaminated material from wildlife trade facilities. The presence of potentially introduced strains of ranaviruses suggests that Madagascar's reptile species might also be threatened by disease

  17. Distribution and risk factors for spread of amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Australia.

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    Pauza, Matthew D; Driessen, Michael M; Skerratt, Lee F

    2010-11-01

    Chytridiomycosis is an emerging infectious disease caused by the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and is the cause of the decline and extinction of amphibian species throughout the world. We surveyed the distribution of Bd within and around the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA), a 1.38 million ha area of significant fauna conservation value, which provides the majority of habitat for Tasmania's 3 endemic frog species (Litoria burrowsae, Bryobatrachus nimbus and Crinia tasmaniensis). Bd was detected at only 1 (3%) of the 33 sites surveyed within the TWWHA and at 15 (52%) of the 29 sites surveyed surrounding the TWWHA. The relatively low incidence of the disease within the TWWHA suggests that the majority of the TWWHA is currently free of the pathogen despite the fact that the region provides what appears to be optimal conditions for the persistence of Bd. For all survey sites within and around the TWWHA, the presence of Bd was strongly associated with the presence of gravel roads, forest and < 1000 m altitude--factors that in this study were associated with human-disturbed landscapes around the TWWHA. Conversely, the presence of walking tracks was strongly associated with the absence of Bd, suggesting an association of absence with relatively remote locations. The wide distribution of Bd in areas of Tasmania with high levels of human disturbance and its very limited occurrence in remote wilderness areas suggests that anthropogenic activities may facilitate the dissemination of the pathogen on a landscape scale in Tasmania. Because the majority of the TWWHA is not readily accessible and appears to be largely free of Bd, and because Tasmanian frogs reproduce in ponds rather than streams, it may be feasible to control the spread of the disease in the TWWHA.

  18. Genetic evidence for a high diversity and wide distribution of endemic strains of the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in wild Asian amphibians.

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    Bataille, Arnaud; Fong, Jonathan J; Cha, Moonsuk; Wogan, Guinevere O U; Baek, Hae Jun; Lee, Hang; Min, Mi-Sook; Waldman, Bruce

    2013-08-01

    Population declines and extinctions of amphibians have been attributed to the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), especially one globally emerging recombinant lineage ('Bd-GPL'). We used PCR assays that target the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) of Bd to determine the prevalence and genetic diversity of Bd in South Korea, where Bd is widely distributed but is not known to cause morbidity or mortality in wild populations. We isolated Korean Bd strains from native amphibians with low infection loads and compared them to known worldwide Bd strains using 19 polymorphic SNP and microsatellite loci. Bd prevalence ranged between 12.5 and 48.0%, in 11 of 17 native Korean species, and 24.7% in the introduced bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus. Based on ITS sequence variation, 47 of the 50 identified Korean haplotypes formed a group closely associated with a native Brazilian Bd lineage, separated from the Bd-GPL lineage. However, multilocus genotyping of three Korean Bd isolates revealed strong divergence from both Bd-GPL and the native Brazilian Bd lineages. Thus, the ITS region resolves genotypes that diverge from Bd-GPL but otherwise generates ambiguous phylogenies. Our results point to the presence of highly diversified endemic strains of Bd across Asian amphibian species. The rarity of Bd-GPL-associated haplotypes suggests that either this lineage was introduced into Korea only recently or Bd-GPL has been outcompeted by native Bd strains. Our results highlight the need to consider possible complex interactions among native Bd lineages, Bd-GPL and their associated amphibian hosts when assessing the spread and impact of Bd-GPL on worldwide amphibian populations. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Survey of Pathogenic Chytrid Fungi (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans) in Salamanders from Three Mountain Ranges in Europe and the Americas.

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    Parrott, Joshua Curtis; Shepack, Alexander; Burkart, David; LaBumbard, Brandon; Scimè, Patrick; Baruch, Ethan; Catenazzi, Alessandro

    2017-06-01

    Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is a virulent fungal pathogen that infects salamanders. It is implicated in the recent collapse of several populations of fire salamanders in Europe. This pathogen seems much like that of its sister species, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the agent responsible for anuran extinctions and extirpations worldwide, and is considered to be an emerging global threat to salamander communities. Bsal thrives at temperatures found in many mountainous regions rich in salamander species; because of this, we have screened specimens of salamanders representing 17 species inhabiting mountain ranges in three continents: The Smoky Mountains, the Swiss Alps, and the Peruvian Andes. We screened 509 salamanders, with 192 representing New World salamanders that were never tested for Bsal previously. Bsal was not detected, and Bd was mostly present at low prevalence except for one site in the Andes.

  20. 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...

  1. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans is the predominant chytrid fungus in Vietnamese salamanders

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    Laking, Alexandra E.; Ngo, Hai Ngoc; Pasmans, Frank; Martel, An; Nguyen, Tao Thien

    2017-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungi, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and B. salamandrivorans (Bsal), pose a major threat to amphibian biodiversity. Recent evidence suggests Southeast Asia as a potential cradle for both fungi, which likely resulted in widespread host-pathogen co-existence. We sampled 583 salamanders from 8 species across Vietnam in 55 locations for Bsal and Bd, determined scaled mass index as a proxy for fitness and collected environmental data. Bsal was found within 14 of the 55 habitats (2 of which it was detected in 2013), in 5 salamandrid species, with a prevalence of 2.92%. The globalized pandemic lineage of Bd was found within one pond on one species with a prevalence of 0.69%. Combined with a complete lack of correlation between infection and individual body condition and absence of indication of associated disease, this suggests low level pathogen endemism and Bsal and Bd co-existence with Vietnamese salamandrid populations. Bsal was more widespread than Bd, and occurs at temperatures higher than tolerated by the type strain, suggesting a wider thermal niche than currently known. Therefore, this study provides support for the hypothesis that these chytrid fungi may be endemic to Asia and that species within this region may act as a disease reservoir. PMID:28287614

  2. Amphibians Testing Negative for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Supen WANG; Wei ZHU; Liqing FAN; Jiaqi LI; Yiming LI

    2017-01-01

    A disease caused by the fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is responsible for recent worldwide declines and extinctions of amphibian populations.The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) is aglobal biodiversity hotspot,yet little is known about the prevalence of Bd and Bsal in this region.In this study,we collected 336 non-invasive skin swabs from wild amphibians (including an exotic amphibian species) on the QTP.In addition,to assess the historical prevalence of Bd and Bsal on the QTP,we collected 117 non-invasive skin swabs from museum-archived amphibian samples (from 1964-1982) originating from the QTP.Our results showed all samples to be negative for Bd and Bsal.The government should ban the potentially harmful introduction of non-native amphibian species to the QTP and educate the public about the impacts of releasing exotic amphibians from chytrid-infected areas into native environments of the QTP.

  3. Differential host susceptibility to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, an emerging amphibian pathogen

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    C.L. Searle; S.S. Gervasi; J. Hua; J.I. Hammond; R.A. Relyea; D.H. Olson; A.R. Blaustein

    2011-01-01

    The amphibian fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has received considerable attention due to its role in amphibian population declines worldwide. Although many amphibian species appear to be affected by Bd, there is little information on species-specific differences in susceptibility to this pathogen. We used a comparative...

  4. Introduced bullfrogs are associated with increased Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence and reduced occurrence of Korean treefrogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amaël Borzée

    Full Text Available Bullfrogs, Lithobates catesbeianus, have been described as major vectors of the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Bd is widespread throughout the range of amphibians yet varies considerably within and among populations in prevalence and host impact. In our study, the presence of L. catesbeianus is correlated with a 2.5 increase in Bd prevalence in treefrogs, and the endangered Dryophytes suweonensis displays a significantly higher Bd prevalence than the more abundant D. japonicus for the 37 sites surveyed. In addition, the occurrence of L. catesbeianus was significantly correlated with a decrease in presence of D. suweonensis at sites. We could not determine if it is the presence of bullfrogs as competitors or predators that is limiting the distribution of D. suweonensis or whether this is caused by bullfrogs acting as a reservoir for Bd. However, L. catesbeianus can now be added to the list of factors responsible for the decline of D. suweonensis populations.

  5. Species-specific chitin-binding module 18 expansion in the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramyan, John; Stajich, Jason E

    2012-01-01

    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 have ever been identified. Presented here is the identification and characterization of a unique expansion of the carbohydrate-binding module family 18 (CBM18), specific to B. dendrobatidis. CBM (chitin-binding module) expansions have been likened to the evolution of pathogenicity in a variety of fungus species, making this expanded group a prime candidate for the identification of potential pathogenicity factors. Furthermore, the CBM18 expansions are confined to three categories of genes, each having been previously implicated in host-pathogen interactions. These correlations highlight this specific domain expansion as a potential key player in the mode of pathogenicity in this unique fungus. The expansion of CBM18 in B. dendrobatidis is exceptional in its size and diversity compared to other pathogenic species of fungi, making this genomic feature unique in an evolutionary context as well as in pathogenicity. Amphibian populations are declining worldwide at an unprecedented rate. Although various factors are thought to contribute to this phenomenon, chytridiomycosis has been identified as one of the leading causes. This deadly fungal disease is cause by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a chytrid fungus species unique in its pathogenicity and, furthermore, its specificity to amphibians. Despite more than two decades of research, the biology of this fungus species and its deadly interaction with amphibians had been notoriously difficult to unravel. Due to the alarming rate of worldwide

  6. Efficacy of chemical disinfectants for the containment of the salamander chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Rooij, Pascale; Pasmans, Frank; Coen, Yanaika; Martel, An

    2017-01-01

    The recently emerged chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) causes European salamander declines. Proper hygiene protocols including disinfection procedures are crucial to prevent disease transmission. Here, the efficacy of chemical disinfectants in killing Bsal was evaluated. At all tested conditions, Biocidal®, Chloramine-T®, Dettol medical®, Disolol®, ethanol, F10®, Hibiscrub®, potassium permanganate, Safe4®, sodium hypochlorite, and Virkon S®, were effective at killing Bsal. Concentrations of 5% sodium chloride or lower, 0.01% peracetic acid and 0.001-1% copper sulphate were inactive against Bsal. None of the conditions tested for hydrogen peroxide affected Bsal viability, while it did kill Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). For Bsal, enzymatic breakdown of hydrogen peroxide by catalases and specific morphological features (clustering of sporangia, development of new sporangia within the original sporangium), were identified as fungal factors altering susceptibility to several of the disinfectants tested. Based on the in vitro results we recommend 1% Virkon S®, 4% sodium hypochlorite and 70% ethanol for disinfecting equipment in the field, lab or captive setting, with a minimal contact time of 5 minutes for 1% Virkon S® and 1 minute for the latter disinfectants. These conditions not only efficiently target Bsal, but also Bd and Ranavirus.

  7. Efficacy of chemical disinfectants for the containment of the salamander chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascale Van Rooij

    Full Text Available The recently emerged chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal causes European salamander declines. Proper hygiene protocols including disinfection procedures are crucial to prevent disease transmission. Here, the efficacy of chemical disinfectants in killing Bsal was evaluated. At all tested conditions, Biocidal®, Chloramine-T®, Dettol medical®, Disolol®, ethanol, F10®, Hibiscrub®, potassium permanganate, Safe4®, sodium hypochlorite, and Virkon S®, were effective at killing Bsal. Concentrations of 5% sodium chloride or lower, 0.01% peracetic acid and 0.001-1% copper sulphate were inactive against Bsal. None of the conditions tested for hydrogen peroxide affected Bsal viability, while it did kill Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. For Bsal, enzymatic breakdown of hydrogen peroxide by catalases and specific morphological features (clustering of sporangia, development of new sporangia within the original sporangium, were identified as fungal factors altering susceptibility to several of the disinfectants tested. Based on the in vitro results we recommend 1% Virkon S®, 4% sodium hypochlorite and 70% ethanol for disinfecting equipment in the field, lab or captive setting, with a minimal contact time of 5 minutes for 1% Virkon S® and 1 minute for the latter disinfectants. These conditions not only efficiently target Bsal, but also Bd and Ranavirus.

  8. 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

  9. Differential patterns of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in relict amphibian populations following severe disease-associated declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitfield, Steven M; Alvarado, Gilbert; Abarca, Juan; Zumbado, Hector; Zuñiga, Ibrahim; Wainwright, Mark; Kerby, Jacob

    2017-09-20

    Global amphibian biodiversity has declined dramatically in the past 4 decades, and many amphibian species have declined to near extinction as a result of emergence of the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). However, persistent or recovering populations of several amphibian species have recently been rediscovered, and such populations may illustrate how amphibian species that are highly susceptible to chytridiomycosis may survive in the presence of Bd. We conducted field surveys for Bd infection in 7 species of Costa Rican amphibians (all species that have declined to near extinction but for which isolated populations persist) to characterize infection profiles in highly Bd-susceptible amphibians post-decline. We found highly variable patterns in infection, with some species showing low prevalence (~10%) and low infection intensity and others showing high infection prevalence (>80%) and either low or high infection intensity. Across sites, infection rates were negatively associated with mean annual precipitation, and infection intensity across sites was negatively associated with mean average temperatures. Our results illustrate that even the most Bd-susceptible amphibians can persist in Bd-enzootic ecosystems, and that multiple ecological or evolutionary mechanisms likely exist for host-pathogen co-existence between Bd and the most Bd-susceptible amphibian species. Continued monitoring of these populations is necessary to evaluate population trends (continuing decline, stability, or population growth). These results should inform efforts to mitigate impacts of Bd on amphibians in the field.

  10. Potential influence of plant chemicals on infectivity of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Elizabeth W; Larsen, Andrew; Meins Palmer, Crystal

    2012-11-08

    We explored whether extracts of trees frequently found associated with amphibian habitats in Australia and Arizona, USA, may be inhibitory to the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has been associated with global amphibian declines. We used salamanders Ambystoma tigrinum as the model system. Salamanders acquired significantly lower loads of Bd when exposed on leaves and extracts from the river red gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis, and loads were also low in some animals exposed on extracts of 2 oak species, Quercus emoryi and Q. turbinella. Some previously infected salamanders had their pathogen loads reduced, and some were fully cured, by placing them in leaf extracts, although some animals also self cured when housed in water alone. A significant number of animals cured of Bd infections 6 mo earlier were found to be resistant to reinfection. These results suggest that plants associated with amphibian habitats should be taken into consideration when explaining the prevalence of Bd in these habitats and that some amphibians may acquire resistance to the fungus if previously cured.

  11. Composition of Micro-eukaryotes on the Skin of the Cascades Frog (Rana cascadae and Patterns of Correlation between Skin Microbes and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan G. Kueneman

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Global amphibian decline linked to fungal pathogens has galvanized research on applied amphibian conservation. Skin-associated bacterial communities of amphibians have been shown to mediate fungal skin infections and the development of probiotic treatments with antifungal bacteria has become an emergent area of research. While exploring the role of protective bacteria has been a primary focus for amphibian conservation, we aim to expand and study the other microbes present in amphibian skin communities including fungi and other micro-eukaryotes. Here, we characterize skin-associated bacteria and micro-eukaryotic diversity found across life stages of Cascades frog (Rana cascadae and their associated aquatic environments using culture independent 16S and 18S rRNA marker-gene sequencing. Individuals of various life stages of Cascades frogs were sampled from a population located in the Trinity Alps in Northern California during an epidemic of the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. We filtered the bacterial sequences against a published database of bacteria known to inhibit B. dendrobatidis in co-culture to estimate the proportion of the skin bacterial community that is likely to provide defense against B. dendrobatidis. Tadpoles had a significantly higher proportion of B. dendrobatidis-inhibitory bacterial sequence matches relative to subadult and adult Cascades frogs. We applied a network analysis to examine patterns of correlation between bacterial taxa and B. dendrobatidis, as well as micro-eukaryotic taxa and B. dendrobatidis. Combined with the published database of bacteria known to inhibit B. dendrobatidis, we used the network analysis to identify bacteria that negatively correlated with B. dendrobatidis and thus could be good probiotic candidates in the Cascades frog system.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in a Nicaraguan, micro-endemic Neotropical salamander, Bolitoglossa mombachoensis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stark, Tariq; Laurijssens, Carlijn; Weterings, Martijn; Martel, An; Köhler, Gunther; Pasmans, Frank

    2017-01-01

    Amphibians are the most threatened terrestrial vertebrates on the planet and are iconic in the global biodiversity crisis. Their global decline caused by the fungal agent Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is well known. Declines of Mesoamerican salamanders of the family Plethodontidae, mainly

  18. Occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in an anuran community in the southeastern Talamanca Region of Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel Saenz; Cory K. Adams; Josh B. Pierce; David Laurencio

    2009-01-01

    Soon after the discovery of the amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, Longcore et al. 1999), it became apparent that Bd was a major threat to amphibians resulting in mass die-offs and population declines throughout the world (Berger et aI. 1998; Blaustein and Keisecker 2002; Daszak et aI. 2003; McCallum...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis (infection by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) is an emerging pathogen of amphibians that is associated with declines in at least four continents. We report results of disease screens from 271 field-sampled amphibians from Oregon and Washington. Chytridiomycosis was detected on 5 of 7 species and from 31 percent of all...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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,...

  1. Efficacy of chemical disinfectants for the containment of the salamander chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans

    OpenAIRE

    Van Rooij, Pascale; Pasmans, Frank; Coen, Yanaïka; Martel, An

    2017-01-01

    The recently emerged chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) causes European salamander declines. Proper hygiene protocols including disinfection procedures are crucial to prevent disease transmission. Here, the efficacy of chemical disinfectants in killing Bsal was evaluated. At all tested conditions, Biocidal (R), Chloramine-T (R), Dettol medical (R), Disolol (R), ethanol, F10 (R), Hibiscrub (R), potassium permanganate, Safe4 (R), sodium hypochlorite, and Virkon S (R), were ...

  2. Extremely low prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in frog populations from neotropical dry forest of Costa Rica supports the existence of a climatic refuge from disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zumbado-Ulate, Héctor; Bolaños, Federico; Gutiérrez-Espeleta, Gustavo; Puschendorf, Robert

    2014-12-01

    Population declines and extinctions of numerous species of amphibians, especially stream-breeding frogs, have been linked to the emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. In Central America, most of the 34 species of the Craugastor punctariolus species group have disappeared in recent years in high- and low-elevation rainforests. Distribution models for B. dendrobatidis and the continuous presence of the extirpated stream-dwelling species, Craugastor ranoides, in the driest site of Costa Rica (Santa Elena Peninsula), suggest that environmental conditions might restrict the growth and development of B. dendrobatidis, existing as a refuge from chytridiomycosis-driven extinction. We conducted field surveys to detect and quantify the pathogen using Real-time PCR in samples from 15 species of frogs in two locations of tropical dry forest. In Santa Elena Peninsula, we swabbed 310 frogs, and only one sample of the species, C. ranoides, tested positive for B. dendrobatidis (prevalence dry and hot environments of tropical dry forest. This study supports the existence of climatic refuges from chytridiomycosis and highlights the importance of tropical dry forest conservation for amphibians in the face of epidemic disease.

  3. Reptiles as potential vectors and hosts of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilburn, Vanessa L; Ibáñez, Roberto; Green, David M

    2011-12-06

    Chytridiomycosis, the disease caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is considered to be a disease exclusively of amphibians. However, B. dendrobatidis may also be capable of persisting in the environment, and non-amphibian vectors or hosts may contribute to disease transmission. Reptiles living in close proximity to amphibians and sharing similar ecological traits could serve as vectors or reservoir hosts for B. dendrobatidis, harbouring the organism on their skin without succumbing to disease. We surveyed for the presence of B. dendrobatidis DNA among 211 lizards and 8 snakes at 8 sites at varying elevations in Panama where the syntopic amphibians were at pre-epizootic, epizootic or post-epizootic stages of chytridiomycosis. Detection of B. dendrobatidis DNA was done using qPCR analysis. Evidence of the amphibian pathogen was present at varying intensities in 29 of 79 examined Anolis humilis lizards (32%) and 9 of 101 A. lionotus lizards (9%), and in one individual each of the snakes Pliocercus euryzonus, Imantodes cenchoa, and Nothopsis rugosus. In general, B. dendrobatidis DNA prevalence among reptiles was positively correlated with the infection prevalence among co-occurring anuran amphibians at any particular site (r = 0.88, p = 0.004). These reptiles, therefore, may likely be vectors or reservoir hosts for B. dendrobatidis and could serve as disease transmission agents. Although there is no evidence of B. dendrobatidis disease-induced declines in reptiles, cases of coincidence of reptile and amphibian declines suggest this potentiality. Our study is the first to provide evidence of non-amphibian carriers for B. dendrobatidis in a natural Neotropical environment.

  4. Concurrent ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in captive frogs (Phyllobates and Dendrobates species), The Netherlands, 2012: a first report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kik, Marja; Stege, Marisca; Boonyarittichaikij, Roschong; van Asten, Alphons

    2012-11-01

    A ranavirus infection with concurrent Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection and mortality in captive Phyllobates and Dendrobates species is reported. Greyish skin with hepato- and reno-megaly were evident. Microscopically, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was present in the stratum corneum of the hyperkeratotic skin. Intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies were present in erythrocytes and multiple organs. All samples examined tested positive using PCR for the major capsid protein (MCP) gene of ranavirus and the ITS-1-5.8S region of B. dendrobatidis. The sequence obtained showed a 99% identity with the deposited sequence of the MCP gene of the common midwife toad virus (CMTV). This is the first report of mortality in captivity in poison dart frogs caused by a ranavirus, CMTV or like virus, and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara A Han

    2011-02-01

    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.

  6. Using occupancy models to understand the distribution of an amphibian pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J.; Chelgren, Nathan; Reinitz, David M.; Cole, Rebecca A.; Rachowicz, L.J.; Galvan, Stephanie; Mccreary, Brome; Pearl, Christopher A.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Bettaso, Jamie B.; Bull, Evelyn L.; Leu, Matthias

    2010-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a fungal pathogen that is receiving attention around the world for its role in amphibian declines. Study of its occurrence patterns is hampered by false negatives: the failure to detect the pathogen when it is present. Occupancy models are a useful but currently underutilized tool for analyzing detection data when the probability of detecting a species is <1. We use occupancy models to evaluate hypotheses concerning the occurrence and prevalence of B. dendrobatidis and discuss how this application differs from a conventional occupancy approach. We found that the probability of detecting the pathogen, conditional on presence of the pathogen in the anuran population, was related to amphibian development stage, day of the year, elevation, and human activities. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was found throughout our study area but was only estimated to occur in 53.4% of 78 populations of native amphibians and 66.4% of 40 populations of nonnative Rana catesbeiana tested. We found little evidence to support any spatial hypotheses concerning the probability that the pathogen occurs in a population, but did find evidence of some taxonomic variation. We discuss the interpretation of occupancy model parameters, when, unlike a conventional occupancy application, the number of potential samples or observations is finite.

  7. 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.

  8. Pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in marbled water frog Telmatobius marmoratus: first record from Lake Titicaca, Bolivia.

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    Cossel, John; Lindquist, Erik; Craig, Heather; Luthman, Kyle

    2014-11-13

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been associated with amphibian declines worldwide but has not been well-studied among Critically Endangered amphibian species in Bolivia. We sampled free-living marbled water frogs Telmatobius marmoratus (Anura: Leptodactylidae) from Isla del Sol, Bolivia, for Bd using skin swabs and quantitative polymerase chain reactions. We detected Bd on 44% of T. marmoratus sampled. This is the first record of Bd in amphibians from waters associated with Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. These results further confirm the presence of Bd in Bolivia and substantiate the potential threat of this pathogen to the Critically Endangered, sympatric Titicaca water frog T. culeus and other Andean amphibians.

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

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    Gisselle Yang Xie

    Full Text Available 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

  10. Using occupancy models to understand the distribution of an amphibian pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

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    Adams, Michael J.; Chelgren, Nathan; Reinitz, David M.; Cole, Rebecca A.; Rachowicz, L.J.; Galvan, Stephanie; Mccreary, Brome; Pearl, Christopher A.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Bettaso, Jamie B.; Bull, Evelyn L.; Leu, Matthias

    2010-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a fungal pathogen that is receiving attention around the world for its role in amphibian declines. Study of its occurrence patterns is hampered by false negatives: the failure to detect the pathogen when it is present. Occupancy models are a useful but currently underutilized tool for analyzing detection data when the probability of detecting a species is population, was related to amphibian development stage, day of the year, elevation, and human activities. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was found throughout our study area but was only estimated to occur in 53.4% of 78 populations of native amphibians and 66.4% of 40 populations of nonnative Rana catesbeiana tested. We found little evidence to support any spatial hypotheses concerning the probability that the pathogen occurs in a population, but did find evidence of some taxonomic variation. We discuss the interpretation of occupancy model parameters, when, unlike a conventional occupancy application, the number of potential samples or observations is finite.

  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. Effects of the Chytrid fungus on the Tarahumara frog (Rana tarahumarae) in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico

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    Stephen F. Hale; Philip C. Rosen; James L. Jarchow; Gregory A. Bradley

    2005-01-01

    We conducted histological analyses on museum specimens collected 1975-1999 from 10 sites in Arizona and Sonora to test for the pathogenic chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in ranid frogs, focusing on the Tarahumara frog (Rana tarahumarae). During 1981-2000, frogs displaying disease signs were found in the field, and...

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

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    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.

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

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    Daskin, Joshua H; Alford, Ross A; 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 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in anurans of the Mediterranean region of Baja California, México

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    Peralta-Garcia, Anny; Adams, Andrea J.; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Galina-Tessaro, Patricia; Valdez-Villavicencio, Jorge H.; Hollingsworth, Bradford; Shaffer, H. Bradley; Fisher, Robert N.

    2018-01-01

     Chytridiomycosis is caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and is regarded as one of the most significant threats to global amphibian populations. In México, Bd was first reported in 2003 and has now been documented in 13 states. We visited 33 localities and swabbed 199 wild-caught anurans from 7 species (5 native, 2 exotic) across the Mediterranean region of the state of Baja California. Using quantitative PCR, Bd was detected in 94 individuals (47.2% of samples) at 25 of the 33 survey localities for 5 native and 1 exotic frog species. The exotic Xenopus laevis was the only species that tested completely negative for Bd. We found that remoteness, distance to agricultural land, and elevation were the best predictors of Bd presence. These are the first Bd-positive results for the state of Baja California and its presence should be regarded as an additional conservation threat to the region’s native frog species. 

  17. 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. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

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

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    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

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

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    Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Anderson, Chauncey W.; Kirshtein, Julie D.; Corn, P. Stephen

    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.

  20. Reduced itraconazole concentration and durations are successful in treating Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in amphibians.

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    Brannelly, Laura A

    2014-03-14

    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 across life stages have not been identified. The most widely used chemotherapeutic treatment is itraconazole, although the dosage commonly used can be harmful to some individuals and species. We performed a clinical treatment trial to assess whether a lower and safer but effective dose of itraconazole could be found to cure Bd infections. We found that by reducing the treatment concentration from 0.01-0.0025% and reducing the treatment duration from 11-6 days of 5 min baths, frogs could be cured of Bd infection with fewer side effects and less treatment-associated mortality.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

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

    2015-04-08

    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.

  4. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection patterns among Panamanian amphibian species, habitats and elevations during epizootic and enzootic stages.

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    Brem, Forrest M R; Lips, Karen R

    2008-09-24

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused declines of many amphibian populations, yet the full course of the epizootic has rarely been observed in wild populations. We determined effects of elevation, habitat, and aquatic index (AI) on prevalence of infection among Panamanian amphibians sampled along 2 elevational transects. Amphibian populations on the Santa Fé transect (SFT) had declined in 2002, while those on the El Copé transect (ECT) were healthy until September 2004. In 2004 we sampled Bd along both transects, surveying the SFT 2 yr after decline, and surveying the ECT 4 mo prior to the arrival of Bd, during the epizootic, and 2 mo later. Overall prevalence of Bd along the ECT increased from 0.0 (95% CI 0.00-0.0003) to 0.51 (95% CI 0.48-0.55) over a 3 mo period, accompanied by significant decreases in amphibian abundance and species richness in all habitats. Prevalence of infection on the ECT was highest along riparian transects and at higher elevations, but not among levels of AI. Prevalence of infection on the SFT was highest in pool transects, and at higher elevations, but not among levels of AI. Riparian amphibian abundance and species richness also declined at SFT following detection of Bd in 2002. Variation among species, microenvironmental conditions, and the length of coexistence with Bd may contribute to observed differences in prevalence of Bd and in population response.

  5. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence and haplotypes in domestic and imported pet amphibians in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamukai, Kenichi; Une, Yumi; Tominaga, Atsushi; Suzuki, Kazutaka; Goka, Koichi

    2014-05-13

    The international trade in amphibians is believed to have increased the spread of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the fungal pathogen responsible for chytridiomycosis, which has caused a rapid decline in amphibian populations worldwide. We surveyed amphibians imported into Japan and those held in captivity for a long period or bred in Japan to clarify the Bd infection status. Samples were taken from 820 individuals of 109 amphibian species between 2008 and 2011 and were analyzed by a nested-PCR assay. Bd prevalence in imported amphibians was 10.3% (58/561), while it was 6.9% (18/259) in those in private collections and commercially bred amphibians in Japan. We identified the genotypes of this fungus using partial DNA sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Sequencing of PCR products of all 76 Bd-positive samples revealed 11 haplotypes of the Bd ITS region. Haplotype A (DNA Data Bank of Japan accession number AB435211) was found in 90% (52/58) of imported amphibians. The results show that Bd is currently entering Japan via the international trade in exotic amphibians as pets, suggesting that the trade has indeed played a major role in the spread of Bd.

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

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    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.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-07

    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 to earlier declines and extinctions. We describe a noninvasive PCR sampling technique that detects Bd in formalin-preserved museum specimens. We detected Bd by PCR in 83-90% (n = 38) of samples that were identified as positive by histology. We examined specimens collected before, during, and after major amphibian decline events at established study sites in southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. A pattern of Bd emergence coincident with decline at these localities is revealed-the absence of Bd over multiple years at all localities followed by the concurrent emergence of Bd in various species at each locality during a period of population decline. The geographical and chronological emergence of Bd at these localities also indicates a southbound spread from southern Mexico in the early 1970s to western Guatemala in the 1980s/1990s and to Monteverde, Costa Rica by 1987. We find evidence of a historical "Bd epidemic wave" that began in Mexico and subsequently spread to Central America. We describe a technique that can be used to screen museum specimens from other amphibian decline sites around the world.

  10. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    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.; Nanjappa, Priya; Olson, Deanna H.; Powers, Jenny G.; Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Watry, Mary Kay; Woodhams, Douglas C.; White, C. LeAnn

    2016-01-20

    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

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

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    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.

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

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    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

  14. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov. causes lethal chytridiomycosis in amphibians.

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    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

    2013-09-17

    The current biodiversity crisis encompasses a sixth mass extinction event affecting the entire class of amphibians. The infectious disease chytridiomycosis is considered one of the major drivers of global amphibian population decline and extinction and is thought to be caused by a single species of aquatic fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. However, several amphibian population declines remain unexplained, among them a steep decrease in fire salamander populations (Salamandra salamandra) that has brought this species to the edge of local extinction. Here we isolated and characterized a unique chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov., from this salamander population. This chytrid causes erosive skin disease and rapid mortality in experimentally infected fire salamanders and was present in skin lesions of salamanders found dead during the decline event. Together with the closely related B. dendrobatidis, this taxon forms a well-supported chytridiomycete clade, adapted to vertebrate hosts and highly pathogenic to amphibians. However, the lower thermal growth preference of B. salamandrivorans, compared with B. dendrobatidis, and resistance of midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) to experimental infection with B. salamandrivorans suggest differential niche occupation of the two chytrid fungi.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  18. 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.

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

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

    2016-07-01

    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 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. (Author)

  20. Future potential distribution of the emerging amphibian chytrid fungus under anthropogenic climate change.

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    Rödder, Dennis; Kielgast, Jos; Lötters, Stefan

    2010-11-01

    Anthropogenic climate change poses a major threat to global biodiversity with a potential to alter biological interactions at all spatial scales. Amphibians are the most threatened vertebrates and have been subject to increasing conservation attention over the past decade. A particular concern is the pandemic emergence of the parasitic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which has been identified as the cause of extremely rapid large-scale declines and species extinctions. Experimental and observational studies have demonstrated that the host-pathogen system is strongly influenced by climatic parameters and thereby potentially affected by climate change. Herein we project a species distribution model of the pathogen onto future climatic scenarios generated by the IPCC to examine their potential implications on the pandemic. Results suggest that predicted anthropogenic climate change may reduce the geographic range of B. dendrobatidis and its potential influence on amphibian biodiversity.

  1. Endemic infection of the amphibian chytrid fungus in a frog community post-decline.

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    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.

  2. Endemic infection of the amphibian chytrid fungus in a frog community post-decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Retallick, Richard W R; McCallum, Hamish; Speare, Rick

    2004-11-01

    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.

  3. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans and the risk of a second amphibian pandemic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Tiffany A.; Nguyen, Natalie T.; Serr, Megan; Shepak, Alex; Vredenburg, Vance

    2017-01-01

    Amphibians are experiencing devastating population declines globally. A major driver is chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease caused by the fungal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). Bdwas described in 1999 and has been linked with declines since the 1970s, while Bsal is a more recently discovered pathogen that was described in 2013. It is hypothesized that Bsaloriginated in Asia and spread via international trade to Europe, where it has been linked to salamander die-offs. Trade in live amphibians thus represents a significant threat to global biodiversity in amphibians. We review the current state of knowledge regarding Bsal and describe the risk of Bsal spread. We discuss regional responses to Bsal and barriers that impede a rapid, coordinated global effort. The discovery of a second deadly emerging chytrid fungal pathogen in amphibians poses an opportunity for scientists, conservationists, and governments to improve global biosecurity and further protect humans and wildlife from a growing number of emerging infectious diseases.

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

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    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. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Do Frogs Still Get Their Kicks On Route 66? A Transcontinental Transect For Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis) Infection On U.S. Department Of Defense Installations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-04

    Knox), Rick Crow (Cannon AFB), Len Diloia (Radford Army Ammunitions Plant), Carol Finley (Kirtland AFB), Jeff Howard (Camp Gruber), Kenton Lohraff...KR, Mendez D, Speare R (2008) Survey protocol for detecting chytridiomycosis in all Australian frog populations. Dis Aquat Org 80: 85-94. 13

  6. 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.

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

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    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Effects of pesticide exposure and the amphibian chytrid fungus on gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaietto, Kristina M; Rumschlag, Samantha L; Boone, Michelle D

    2014-10-01

    Pesticides are detectable in most aquatic habitats and have the potential to alter host-pathogen interactions. The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been associated with amphibian declines around the world. However, Bd-associated declines are more prominent in some areas, despite nearly global distribution of Bd, suggesting other factors contribute to disease outbreaks. In a laboratory study, the authors examined the effects of 6 different isolates of Bd in the presence or absence of a pesticide (the insecticide carbaryl or the fungicide copper sulfate) to recently hatched Cope's gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) tadpoles reared through metamorphosis. The authors found the presence or absence of pesticides differentially altered the mass at metamorphosis of tadpoles exposed to different Bd isolates, suggesting that isolate could influence metamorphosis but not in ways expected based on origin of the isolate. Pesticide exposure had the strongest impact on metamorphosis of all treatment combinations. Whereas copper sulfate exposure reduced the length of the larval period, carbaryl exposure had apparent positive effects by increasing mass at metamorphosis and lengthening larval period, which adds to evidence that carbaryl can stimulate development in counterintuitive ways. The present study provides limited support to the hypothesis that pesticides can alter the response of tadpoles to isolates of Bd and that the insecticide carbaryl can alter developmental decisions. © 2014 SETAC.

  11. No evidence for effects of infection with the amphibian chytrid fungus on populations of yellow-bellied toads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Norman; Neubeck, Claus; Guicking, Daniela; Finke, Lennart; Wittich, Martin; Weising, Kurt; Geske, Christian; Veith, Michael

    2017-02-08

    The parasitic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) can cause the lethal disease chytridiomycosis in amphibians and therefore may play a role in population declines. The yellow-bellied toad Bombina variegata suffered strong declines throughout western and northwestern parts of its range and is therefore listed as highly endangered for Germany and the federal state of Hesse. Whether chytridiomycosis may play a role in the observed local declines of this strictly protected anuran species has never been tested. We investigated 19 Hessian yellow-bellied toad populations for Bd infection rates, conducted capture-mark-recapture studies in 4 of them over 2 to 3 yr, examined survival histories of recaptured infected individuals, and tested whether multi-locus heterozygosity of individuals as well as expected heterozygosity and different environmental variables of populations affect probabilities of Bd infection. Our results show high prevalence of Bd infection in Hessian yellow-bellied toad populations, but although significant decreases in 2 populations could be observed, no causative link to Bd as the reason for this can be established. Mass mortalities or obvious signs of disease in individuals were not observed. Conversely, we show that growth of Bd-infected populations is possible under favorable habitat conditions and that most infected individuals could be recaptured with improved body indices. Neither genetic diversity nor environmental variables appeared to affect Bd infection probabilities. Hence, genetically diverse amphibian specimens and populations may not automatically be less susceptible for Bd infection.

  12. 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.

  13. Genome-wide transcriptional response of Silurana (Xenopus tropicalis to infection with the deadly chytrid fungus.

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    Erica Bree Rosenblum

    Full Text Available Emerging infectious diseases are of great concern for both wildlife and humans. Several highly virulent fungal pathogens have recently been discovered in natural populations, highlighting the need for a better understanding of fungal-vertebrate host-pathogen interactions. Because most fungal pathogens are not fatal in the absence of other predisposing conditions, host-pathogen dynamics for deadly fungal pathogens are of particular interest. The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (hereafter Bd infects hundreds of species of frogs in the wild. It is found worldwide and is a significant contributor to the current global amphibian decline. However, the mechanism by which Bd causes death in amphibians, and the response of the host to Bd infection, remain largely unknown. Here we use whole-genome microarrays to monitor the transcriptional responses to Bd infection in the model frog species, Silurana (Xenopus tropicalis, which is susceptible to chytridiomycosis. To elucidate the immune response to Bd and evaluate the physiological effects of chytridiomycosis, we measured gene expression changes in several tissues (liver, skin, spleen following exposure to Bd. We detected a strong transcriptional response for genes involved in physiological processes that can help explain some clinical symptoms of chytridiomycosis at the organismal level. However, we detected surprisingly little evidence of an immune response to Bd exposure, suggesting that this susceptible species may not be mounting efficient innate and adaptive immune responses against Bd. The weak immune response may be partially explained by the thermal conditions of the experiment, which were optimal for Bd growth. However, many immune genes exhibited decreased expression in Bd-exposed frogs compared to control frogs, suggesting a more complex effect of Bd on the immune system than simple temperature-mediated immune suppression. This study generates important baseline data for ongoing

  14. First record of the chytrid fungus in Lithobates catesbeianus from Argentina: exotic species and conservation Primer registro del hongo quitridio en Lithobates catesbeianus de Argentina: especies exóticas y conservación

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    Romina Ghirardi

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (B.d., is recognized as one of the major factors of amphibian decline. Global trade of amphibians has been identified as one of the causes of B.d. spread, involving hundreds of species world wide. In this work we detected the presence of B.d. through histological examination on 5 out of 9 analyzed specimens of bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus from a farm in Santa Fe City (Argentina, deposited since 1993 in the herpetological collection of the Provincial Museum of Natural Sciences "Florentino Ameghino". Our finding represents the oldest record of B.d. for Argentina and the first case of the chytrid fungus infecting the exotic bullfrog in this country. We emphasize the importance of determining and monitoring the distribution and spread of B.d in Argentina, particularly in areas where feral bullfrog populations have already been identified.La quitridiomicosis, enfermedad emergente producida por el hongo Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (B.d., es reconocida como uno de los factores causantes de la declinación de anfibios. El comercio mundial de anfibios ha sido señalado como una de las fuentes de dispersión de B.d. En este trabajo se detectó la presencia de B.d. en la especie exótica rana toro (Lithobates catesbeianus mediante cortes histológicos en 5 de 9 ejemplares provenientes de un criadero de la ciudad de Santa Fe (Argentina, depositados y conservados desde 1993 en la Colección Herpetológica del Museo Provincial de Ciencias Naturales "Florentino Ameghino". Este registro representa el hallazgo más antiguo de B.d. en Argentina y el primer caso de este hongo en la rana toro exótica en el país; por lo que enfatizamos la importancia de determinar y monitorear la distribución y dispersión de B.d., particularmente en los sitios donde ya se han detectado poblaciones silvestres de rana toro.

  15. Linking ecology and epidemiology to understand predictors of multi-host responses to an emerging pathogen, the amphibian chytrid fungus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephanie S. Gervasi; Patrick R. Stephens; Jessica Hua; Catherine L. Searle; Gisselle Yang Xie; Jenny Urbina; Deanna H. Olson; Betsy A. Bancroft; Virginia Weis; John I. Hammond; Rick A. Relyea; Andrew R. Blaustein; Stefan Lötters

    2017-01-01

    Variation in host responses to pathogens can have cascading effects on populations and communities when some individuals or groups of individuals display disproportionate vulnerability to infection or differ in their competence to transmit infection. The fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been detected in almost 700 different...

  16. Fungal infection intensity and zoospore output of Atelopus zeteki, a potential acute chytrid supershedder.

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    Graziella V Direnzo

    Full Text Available Amphibians vary in their response to infection by the amphibian-killing chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Highly susceptible species are the first to decline and/or disappear once Bd arrives at a site. These competent hosts likely facilitate Bd proliferation because of ineffective innate and/or acquired immune defenses. We show that Atelopus zeteki, a highly susceptible species that has undergone substantial population declines throughout its range, rapidly and exponentially increases skin Bd infection intensity, achieving intensities that are several orders of magnitude greater than most other species reported. We experimentally infected individuals that were never exposed to Bd (n = 5 or previously exposed to an attenuated Bd strain (JEL427-P39; n = 3. Within seven days post-inoculation, the average Bd infection intensity was 18,213 zoospores (SE: 9,010; range: 0 to 66,928. Both average Bd infection intensity and zoospore output (i.e., the number of zoospores released per minute by an infected individual increased exponentially until time of death (t50 = 7.018, p<0.001, t46 = 3.164, p = 0.001, respectively. Mean Bd infection intensity and zoospore output at death were 4,334,422 zoospores (SE: 1,236,431 and 23.55 zoospores per minute (SE: 22.78, respectively, with as many as 9,584,158 zoospores on a single individual. The daily percent increases in Bd infection intensity and zoospore output were 35.4% (SE: 0.05 and 13.1% (SE: 0.04, respectively. We also found that Bd infection intensity and zoospore output were positively correlated (t43 = 3.926, p<0.001. All animals died between 22 and 33 days post-inoculation (mean: 28.88; SE: 1.58. Prior Bd infection had no effect on survival, Bd infection intensity, or zoospore output. We conclude that A. zeteki, a highly susceptible amphibian species, may be an acute supershedder. Our results can inform epidemiological models to estimate Bd outbreak probability, especially as they relate

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrest, Matthew J; Schlaepfer, Martin A

    2011-01-01

    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).

  18. Long-term monitoring of tropical alpine habitat change, Andean anurans, and chytrid fungus in the Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru: Results from a decade of study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seimon, Tracie A; Seimon, Anton; Yager, Karina; Reider, Kelsey; Delgado, Amanda; Sowell, Preston; Tupayachi, Alfredo; Konecky, Bronwen; McAloose, Denise; Halloy, Stephan

    2017-03-01

    The Cordillera Vilcanota in southern Peru is the second largest glacierized range in the tropics and home to one of the largest high-alpine lakes, Sibinacocha (4,860 m). Here, Telmatobius marmoratus (marbled water frog), Rhinella spinulosa (Andean toad), and Pleurodema marmoratum (marbled four-eyed frog) have expanded their range vertically within the past century to inhabit newly formed ponds created by ongoing deglaciation. These anuran populations, geographically among the highest (5,200-5,400 m) recorded globally, are being impacted by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ), and the disease it causes, chytridiomycosis. In this study, we report results from over a decade of monitoring these three anuran species, their habitat, and Bd infection status. Our observations reveal dynamic changes in habitat including ongoing rapid deglaciation (18.4 m/year widening of a corridor between retreating glaciers from 2005 to 2015), new pond formation, changes in vegetation in amphibian habitat, and widespread occurrence of Bd in amphibians in seven sites. Three of these sites have tested positive for Bd over a 9- to 12-year period. In addition, we observed a widespread reduction in T. marmoratus encounters in the Vilcanota in 2008, 2009, and 2012, while encounters increased in 2013 and 2015. Despite the rapid and dynamic changes in habitat under a warming climate, continued presence of Bd in the environment for over a decade, and a reduction in one of three anuran species, we document that these anurans continue to breed and survive in this high Andean environment. High variability in anuran encounters across sites and plasticity in these populations across habitats, sites, and years are all factors that could favor repopulation postdecline. Preserving the connectivity of wetlands in the Cordillera Vilcanota is therefore essential in ensuring that anurans continue to breed and adapt as climate change continues to reshape the environment.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. Factors related to the distribution and prevalence of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dentrobatidis in Rana cascadae and other amphibians in the Klamath Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonah Piovia-Scott; Karen L. Pope; Sharon P. Lawler; Esther M. Cole; Janet E. Foley

    2011-01-01

    The fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the disease chytridiomycosis, has been associated with declines and extinctions of montane amphibians worldwide. To gain insight into factors affecting its distribution and prevalence we focus on the amphibian community of the Klamath Mountains in northwest...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    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. dendrobatidis infections

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-25

    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. 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. We thus conclude that, despite marked anti B. dendrobatidis activity in vitro, the florfenicol treatment used is not capable of eliminating B. dendrobatidis infections from amphibians.

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

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    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

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Population estimates of Dendrobates tinctorius (Anura: Dendrobatidae at three sites in French Guiana and first record of chytrid infection

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    Elodie A. Courtois

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The Neotropics shelter the highest number of frog species on Earth and is also one of the regions where anurans are most threatened. Nonetheless, few data are available to assess the population status of Neotropical anurans. We studied three populations (Tresor, Favard, and Nouragues of the poison frog, Dendrobates tinctorius, in French Guiana and used Capture-Mark-Recapture (CMR to make robust estimations of the species’ density at these three sites. In addition, we assessed the prevalence of the pathogen fungal Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd in two populations (Favard and Nouragues. Based on the CMR protocol, the densities of frogs was 8.43 individuals/100 m² at Favard, 4.28 individuals/100 m² at Nouragues and from 2.30 to 4.67 individuals/100 m² at Tresor (depending on the CMR model used; these data provide a baseline for population densities of D. tinctorius in French Guiana, against which future population estimates can be compared. We found that 25 encounter events may be sufficient for stable population estimates, if the captures are concentrated in time. Bd was detected at both sites (Favard 7/152; Nouragues 3/18.

  8. Seasonal Variation in Population Abundance and Chytrid Infection in Stream-Dwelling Frogs of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

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    Joice Ruggeri

    Full Text Available Enigmatic amphibian declines were first reported in southern and southeastern Brazil in the late 1980s and included several species of stream-dwelling anurans (families Hylodidae and Cycloramphidae. At that time, we were unaware of the amphibian-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd; therefore, pollution, habitat loss, fragmentation and unusual climatic events were hypothesized as primary causes of these declines. We now know that multiple lineages of Bd have infected amphibians of the Brazilian Atlantic forest for over a century, yet declines have not been associated specifically with Bd outbreaks. Because stream-dwelling anurans occupy an environmental hotspot ideal for disease transmission, we investigated temporal variation in population and infection dynamics of three stream-adapted species (Hylodes asper, H. phyllodes, and Cycloramphus boraceiensis on the northern coast of São Paulo state, Brazil. We surveyed standardized transects along streams for four years, and show that fluctuations in the number of frogs correlate with specific climatic variables that also increase the likelihood of Bd infections. In addition, we found that Bd infection probability in C. boraceiensis, a nocturnal species, was significantly higher than in Hylodes spp., which are diurnal, suggesting that the nocturnal activity may either facilitate Bd zoospore transmission or increase susceptibility of hosts. Our findings indicate that, despite long-term persistence of Bd in Brazil, some hosts persist with seasonally variable infections, and thus future persistence in the face of climate change will depend on the relative effect of those changes on frog recruitment and pathogen proliferation.

  9. 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. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Species-level correlates of susceptibility to the pathogenic amphibian fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betsy A. Bancroft; Barbara A. Han; Catherine L. Searle; Lindsay M. Biga; Deanna H. Olson; Lee B. Kats; Joshua J. Lawler; Andrew R. Blaustein

    2011-01-01

    Disease is often implicated as a factor in population declines of wildlife and plants. Understanding the characteristics that may predispose a species to infection by a particular pathogen can help direct conservation efforts. Recent declines in amphibian populations world-wide are a major conservation issue and may be caused in part by a fungal pathogen, ...

  11. Chytridiomycosis and seasonal mortality of tropical stream-associated frogs 15 years after introduction of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillott, Andrea D; Grogan, Laura F; Cashins, Scott D; McDonald, Keith R; Berger, Lee; Skerratt, Lee F

    2013-10-01

    Assessing the effects of diseases on wildlife populations can be difficult in the absence of observed mortalities, but it is crucial for threat assessment and conservation. We performed an intensive capture-mark-recapture study across seasons and years to investigate the effect of chytridiomycosis on demographics in 2 populations of the threatened common mist frog (Litoria rheocola) in the lowland wet tropics of Queensland, Australia. Infection prevalence was the best predictor for apparent survival probability in adult males and varied widely with season (0-65%). Infection prevalence was highest in winter months when monthly survival probabilities were low (approximately 70%). Populations at both sites exhibited very low annual survival probabilities (12-15%) but high recruitment (71-91%), which resulted in population growth rates that fluctuated seasonally. Our results suggest that even in the absence of observed mortalities and continued declines, and despite host-pathogen co-existence for multiple host generations over almost 2 decades, chytridiomycosis continues to have substantial seasonally fluctuating population-level effects on amphibian survival, which necessitates increased recruitment for population persistence. Similarly infected populations may thus be under continued threat from chytridiomycosis which may render them vulnerable to other threatening processes, particularly those affecting recruitment success. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Epidemic disease decimates amphibian abundance, species diversity, and evolutionary history in the highlands of central Panama

    OpenAIRE

    Crawford, Andrew J.; Lips, Karen R.; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2010-01-01

    Amphibian populations around the world are experiencing unprecedented declines attributed to a chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Despite the severity of the crisis, quantitative analyses of the effects of the epidemic on amphibian abundance and diversity have been unavailable as a result of the lack of equivalent data collected before and following disease outbreak. We present a community-level assessment combining long-term field surveys and DNA barcode data describing...

  13. Inhibition of Caused by Bacteria Isolated from the Skin of Boreal Toads, , from Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawna T. Park

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 inhibiting B. dendrobatidis in vitro, and therefore might be a factor in the toad's coexistence with this pathogen. Isolates from 6 of 21 genera tested were found to inhibit the growth of B. dendrobatidis. These bacteria represent diverse lineages such as the Gammaproteobacteria, the Betaproteobacteria, and the Bacteroidetes/Chlorobium groups. We propose that these bacteria compete via microbial antagonism with B. dendrobatidis.

  14. Overview of chytrid emergence and impacts on amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians that affects over 700 species on all continents where amphibians occur. The amphibian–chytridiomycosis system is complex, and the response of any amphibian species to chytrid depends on many aspects of the ecology and evolutionary history of the amphibian, the genotype and phenotype of the fungus, and how the biological and physical environment can mediate that interaction. Impacts of chytridiomycosis on amphibians are varied; some species have been driven extinct, populations of others have declined severely, whereas still others have not obviously declined. Understanding patterns and mechanisms of amphibian responses to chytrids is critical for conservation and management. Robust estimates of population numbers are needed to identify species at risk, prioritize taxa for conservation actions, design management strategies for managing populations and species, and to develop effective measures to reduce impacts of chytrids on amphibians. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience’. PMID:28080989

  15. Effects of amphibian phylogeny, climate and human impact on the occurrence of the amphibian-killing chytrid fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacigalupe, Leonardo D; Soto-Azat, Claudio; García-Vera, Cristobal; Barría-Oyarzo, Ismael; Rezende, Enrico L

    2017-09-01

    Chytridiomycosis, due to the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been associated with the alarming decline and extinction crisis of amphibians worldwide. Because conservation programs are implemented locally, it is essential to understand how the complex interactions among host species, climate and human activities contribute to Bd occurrence at regional scales. Using weighted phylogenetic regressions and model selection, we investigated geographic patterns of Bd occurrence along a latitudinal gradient of 1500 km within a biodiversity hot spot in Chile (1845 individuals sampled from 253 sites and representing 24 species), and its association with climatic, socio-demographic and economic variables. Analyses show that Bd prevalence decreases with latitude although it has increased by almost 10% between 2008 and 2013, possibly reflecting an ongoing spread of Bd following the introduction of Xenopus laevis. Occurrence of Bd was higher in regions with high gross domestic product (particularly near developed centers) and with a high variability in rainfall regimes, whereas models including other bioclimatic or geographic variables, including temperature, exhibited substantially lower fit and virtually no support based on Akaike weights. In addition, Bd prevalence exhibited a strong phylogenetic signal, with five species having high numbers of infected individuals and higher prevalence than the average of 13.3% across all species. Taken together, our results highlight that Bd in Chile might still be spreading south, facilitated by a subset of species that seem to play an important epidemiological role maintaining this pathogen in the communities, in combination with climatic and human factors affecting the availability and quality of amphibian breeding sites. This information may be employed to design conservation strategies and mitigate the impacts of Bd in the biodiversity hot spot of southern Chile, and similar studies may prove useful to disentangle the

  16. Integrating chytrid fungal parasites into plankton ecology: research gaps and needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frenken, Thijs; Alacid, Elisabet; Berger, Stella A; Bourne, Elizabeth C; Gerphagnon, Mélanie; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Gsell, Alena S; Ibelings, Bas W; Kagami, Maiko; Küpper, Frithjof C; Letcher, Peter M; Loyau, Adeline; Miki, Takeshi; Nejstgaard, Jens C; Rasconi, Serena; Reñé, Albert; Rohrlack, Thomas; Rojas-Jimenez, Keilor; Schmeller, Dirk S; Scholz, Bettina; Seto, Kensuke; Sime-Ngando, Télesphore; Sukenik, Assaf; Van de Waal, Dedmer B; Van den Wyngaert, Silke; Van Donk, Ellen; Wolinska, Justyna; Wurzbacher, Christian; Agha, Ramsy

    2017-10-01

    Chytridiomycota, often referred to as chytrids, can be virulent parasites with the potential to inflict mass mortalities on hosts, causing e.g. changes in phytoplankton size distributions and succession, and the delay or suppression of bloom events. Molecular environmental surveys have revealed an unexpectedly large diversity of chytrids across a wide range of aquatic ecosystems worldwide. As a result, scientific interest towards fungal parasites of phytoplankton has been gaining momentum in the past few years. Yet, we still know little about the ecology of chytrids, their life cycles, phylogeny, host specificity and range. Information on the contribution of chytrids to trophic interactions, as well as co-evolutionary feedbacks of fungal parasitism on host populations is also limited. This paper synthesizes ideas stressing the multifaceted biological relevance of phytoplankton chytridiomycosis, resulting from discussions among an international team of chytrid researchers. It presents our view on the most pressing research needs for promoting the integration of chytrid fungi into aquatic ecology. © 2017 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Chytrid parasitism facilitates trophic transfer between bloom-forming cyanobacteria and zooplankton (Daphnia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Ramsy; Saebelfeld, Manja; Manthey, Christin; Rohrlack, Thomas; Wolinska, Justyna

    2016-10-13

    Parasites are rarely included in food web studies, although they can strongly alter trophic interactions. In aquatic ecosystems, poorly grazed cyanobacteria often dominate phytoplankton communities, leading to the decoupling of primary and secondary production. Here, we addressed the interface between predator-prey and host-parasite interactions by conducting a life-table experiment, in which four Daphnia galeata genotypes were maintained on quantitatively comparable diets consisting of healthy cyanobacteria or cyanobacteria infected by a fungal (chytrid) parasite. In four out of five fitness parameters, at least one Daphnia genotype performed better on parasitised cyanobacteria than in the absence of infection. Further treatments consisting of purified chytrid zoospores and heterotrophic bacteria suspensions established the causes of improved fitness. First, Daphnia feed on chytrid zoospores which trophically upgrade cyanobacterial carbon. Second, an increase in heterotrophic bacterial biomass, promoted by cyanobacterial decay, provides an additional food source for Daphnia. In addition, chytrid infection induces fragmentation of cyanobacterial filaments, which could render cyanobacteria more edible. Our results demonstrate that chytrid parasitism can sustain zooplankton under cyanobacterial bloom conditions, and exemplify the potential of parasites to alter interactions between trophic levels.

  18. The link between rapid enigmatic amphibian decline and the globally emerging chytrid fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lötters, Stefan; Kielgast, Jos; Bielby, Jon; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Bosch, Jaime; Veith, Michael; Walker, Susan F; Fisher, Matthew C; Rödder, Dennis

    2009-09-01

    Amphibians are globally declining and approximately one-third of all species are threatened with extinction. Some of the most severe declines have occurred suddenly and for unknown reasons in apparently pristine habitats. It has been hypothesized that these "rapid enigmatic declines" are the result of a panzootic of the disease chytridiomycosis caused by globally emerging amphibian chytrid fungus. In a Species Distribution Model, we identified the potential distribution of this pathogen. Areas and species from which rapid enigmatic decline are known significantly overlap with those of highest environmental suitability to the chytrid fungus. We confirm the plausibility of a link between rapid enigmatic decline in worldwide amphibian species and epizootic chytridiomycosis.

  19. Evidence of disease-related amphibian decline in Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Pessier, Allan P.; Green, D. Earl

    2003-01-01

    The recent discovery of a pathogenic fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) associated with declines of frogs in the American and Australian tropics, suggests that at least the proximate cause, may be known for many previously unexplained amphibian declines. We have monitored boreal toads in Colorado since 1991 at four sites using capturea??recapture of adults and counts of egg masses to examine the dynamics of this metapopulation. Numbers of male toads declined in 1996 and 1999 with annual survival rate averaging 78% from 1991 to 1994, 45% in 1995 and 3% between 1998 and 1999. Numbers of egg masses also declined. An etiological diagnosis of chytridiomycosis consistent with infections by the genus Batrachochytrium was made in six wild adult toads. Characteristic histomorphological features (i.e. intracellular location, shape of thalli, presence of discharge tubes and rhizoids) of chytrid organisms, and host tissue response (acanthosis and hyperkeratosis) were observed in individual toads. These characteristics were indistinguishable from previously reported mortality events associated with chytrid fungus. We also observed epizootiological features consistent with mortality events associated with chytrid fungus: an increase in the ratio of female:male toads captured, an apparent spread of mortalities within the metapopulation and mortalities restricted to post metamorphic animals. Eleven years of population data suggest that this metapopulation of toads is in danger of extinction, pathological and epizootiological evidence indicates that B. dendrobatidis has played a proximate role in this process

  20. Prevalence and pathogen load estimates for the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis are impacted by ITS DNA copy number variation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rebollar, Eria A.; Woodhams, Douglas C.; LaBumbard, Brandon

    2017-01-01

    The ribosomal gene complex is a multi-copy region that is widely used for phylogenetic analyses of organisms from all 3 domains of life. In fungi, the copy number of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) is used to detect abundance of pathogens causing diseases such as chytridiomycosis in amphibi...

  1. Do Frogs Get Their Kicks on Route 66? Continental U.S. Transect Reveals Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-21

    Army Ammunitions Plant), Carol Finley (Kirtland Air Force Base), Jeff Howard (Camp Gruber), Kenton Lohraff (Fort Leonard Wood), John Pilcicki (Fort...Available: http://www.parcplace.org/Bd_con- ference.html. Accessed 2010 Nov 7. 31. Murray KA, Retallick R, McDonald K, Mendez D, Aplin K, et al...chytridiomycosis. J Zool 271: 352–359. 34. Skerratt LF, McDonald KR, Hines HB, Berger L, Mendez , D, et al. (2010) Validation of the mapping protocol

  2. Oral chytridiomycosis in the mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellers, G.M.; Green, E.D.; Longcore, J.E.

    2001-01-01

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was originally reported in wild frog populations in Panama and Australia, and from captive frogs in the U.S. National Zoological Park (Washington, DC). This recently described fungus affects the keratinized epidermis of amphibians and has been implicated as a causative factor in the declines of frog populations. We report here the presence of B. dendrobatidis in larval and recently metamorphosed mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa) in or near the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, an area where declines have been documented in all five species of native anurans. Forty-one percent (158 of 387) of larval R. muscosa examined in the field with a hand lens and 18% (14 of 79) of preserved larvae had abnormalities of the oral disc. Twenty-eight larvae were collected from 10 sites where tadpoles had been observed with missing or abnormally keratinized mouthparts, and 24 of these were examined for infection. Sixty-seven percent (16 of 24) of these tadpoles were infected with B. dendrobatidis. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was cultured from both tadpoles and recent metamorphs from one of these sites. Tadpoles with mouthpart abnormalities or confirmed chytrid fungus infections were collected at 23 sites spanning a distance of > 440 km and an elevational range from 1658-3550 m. Life-history traits of R. muscosa may make this species particularly susceptible to infection by Batrachochytrium. We recommend that biologists examine tadpoles for oral disc abnormalities as a preliminary indication of chytridiomycosis. Further, we believe that biologists should take precautions to prevent spreading this and other amphibian diseases from one site to another.

  3. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans: The North American response and a call for action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew J. Gray; James P. Lewis; Priya Nanjappa; Blake Klocke; Frank Pasmans; An Martel; Craig Stephen; Gabriela Parra Olea; Scott A. Smith; Allison Sacerdote-Velat; Michelle R. Christman; Jennifer M. Williams; Deanna H. Olson; Deborah A. Hogan

    2015-01-01

    Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is an emerging fungal pathogen that has caused recent die-offs of native salamanders in Europe and is known to be lethal to at least some North American species in laboratory trials [1]. Bsal appears to have originated in Asia, and may have been introduced by humans...

  4. 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.

  5. Pseudacris triseriata (western chorus frog) and Rana sylvatica (wood frog) chytridiomycosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rittman, S.E.; Muths, E.; Green, D.E.

    2003-01-01

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a known pathogen of anuran amphibians, and has been correlated with amphibian die-offs worldwide (Daszak et. al. 1999. Emerging Infectious Diseases 5:735-748). In Colorado, B. dendrobatidis has infected Boreal toads (Bufo boreas) (Muths et. al., in review) and has been identified on museum specimens of northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) (Carey et. al. 1999. Develop. Comp. Immunol. 23:459-472). We report the first verified case of chytrid fungus in chorus frogs (Pseudacris triseriata) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) in the United States. We collected seven P. triseriata, and two adult and two juvenile R. sylvatica in the Kawuneeche Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) during June 2001. These animals were submitted to the National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) as part of an amphibian health evaluation in RMNP. Chorus frogs were shipped in one container. Wood frog adults and juveniles were shipped in two separate containers. Histological examinations of all chorus frogs and 3 of 4 wood frogs were positive for chytrid fungus infection. The fourth (adult) wood frog was too decomposed for meaningful histology. Histological findings consisted of multifocally mild to diffusely severe infections of the epidermis of the ventrum and hindlimb digital skin. Chytrid thalli were confined to the thickened epidermis (hyperkeratosis), were spherical to oval, and occasional thalli contained characteristic discharge pores or zoospores (Green and Kagarise Sherman 1999. J. Herpetol 35:92-103; Fellers et al. 2001. Copeia 2001:945-953). We cannot confirm that all specimens carried the fungus at collection, because infection may have spread from one individual to all other individuals in each container during transport. Further sampling of amphibians in Kawuneeche Valley is warranted to determine the rate of infection and mortality in these populations.

  6. Análisis Exploratorio de datos para desarrollar propuestas de conservación de la comunidad de Anfibios referentes al Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis en el Parque Nacional Cajas, Cuenca-Ecuador

    OpenAIRE

    Cáceres Andrade, José Francisco

    2014-01-01

    Los anfibios son uno de los grupos mayormente amenazados con la extinción a nivel mundial, incluso en áreas protegidas o de conservación. No se sabe a ciencia cierta cuál es el factor principal que produce la declinación o si varios de ellos actúan y cómo en cada caso. Uno de los principales, es la aparición de enfermedades emergentes que han sido responsables de extinciones en varias zonas del planeta. Con este estudio se plantea relacionar la altitud, la posición geográfica y 9 especies reg...

  7. Population size, survival, growth, and movements of Rana sierrae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellers, Gary M.; Kleeman, Patrick M.; Miller, David A. W.; Halstead, Brian J.; Link, William

    2013-01-01

    Based on 2431 captures of 757 individual frogs over a 9-yr period, we found that the population of R. sierrae in one meadow–stream complex in Yosemite National Park ranged from an estimated 45 to 115 adult frogs. Rana sierrae at our relatively low elevation site (2200 m) grew at a fast rate (K = 0.73–0.78), had high overwintering survival rates (44.6–95%), lived a long time (up to 16 yr), and tended to be fairly sedentary during the summer (100% minimum convex polygon annual home ranges of 139 m2) but had low year-to-year site fidelity. Even though the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) has been present in the population for at least 13 yr, there was no clear downward trend as might be expected from reports of R. sierrae population declines associated with Bd or from reports of widespread population decline of R. sierrae throughout its range.

  8. Parasite fitness traits under environmental variation: disentangling the roles of a chytrid's immediate host and external environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van den Wyngaert, Silke; Vanholsbeeck, Olivier; Spaak, Piet; Ibelings, Bas W

    2014-10-01

    Parasite environments are heterogeneous at different levels. The first level of variability is the host itself. The second level represents the external environment for the hosts, to which parasites may be exposed during part of their life cycle. Both levels are expected to affect parasite fitness traits. We disentangle the main and interaction effects of variation in the immediate host environment, here the diatom Asterionella formosa (variables host cell volume and host condition through herbicide pre-exposure) and variation in the external environment (variables host density and acute herbicide exposure) on three fitness traits (infection success, development time and reproductive output) of a chytrid parasite. Herbicide exposure only decreased infection success in a low host density environment. This result reinforces the hypothesis that chytrid zoospores use photosynthesis-dependent chemical cues to locate its host. At high host densities, chemotaxis becomes less relevant due to increasing chance contact rates between host and parasite, thereby following the mass-action principle in epidemiology. Theoretical support for this finding is provided by an agent-based simulation model. The immediate host environment (cell volume) substantially affected parasite reproductive output and also interacted with the external herbicide exposed environment. On the contrary, changes in the immediate host environment through herbicide pre-exposure did not increase infection success, though it had subtle effects on zoospore development time and reproductive output. This study shows that both immediate host and external environment as well as their interaction have significant effects on parasite fitness. Disentangling these effects improves our understanding of the processes underlying parasite spread and disease dynamics.

  9. Spatial variation in risk and consequence of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans introduction in the USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Adams, Michael J.; White, C. LeAnn; Campbell Grant, Evan H.

    2016-01-01

    A newly identified fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), is responsible for mass mortality events and severe population declines in European salamanders. The eastern USA has the highest diversity of salamanders in the world and the introduction of this pathogen is likely to be devastating. Although data are inevitably limited for new pathogens, disease-risk assessments use best available data to inform management decisions. Using characteristics of Bsal ecology, spatial data on imports and pet trade establishments, and salamander species diversity, we identify high-risk areas with both a high likelihood of introduction and severe consequences for local salamanders. We predict that the Pacific coast, southern Appalachian Mountains and mid-Atlantic regions will have the highest relative risk from Bsal. Management of invasive pathogens becomes difficult once they are established in wildlife populations; therefore, import restrictions to limit pathogen introduction and early detection through surveillance of high-risk areas are priorities for preventing the next crisis for North American salamanders.

  10. Exploring the binding properties and structural stability of an opsin in the chytrid Spizellomyces punctatus using comparative and molecular modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven R. Ahrendt

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Background Opsin proteins are seven transmembrane receptor proteins which detect light. Opsins can be classified into two types and share little sequence identity: type 1, typically found in bacteria, and type 2, primarily characterized in metazoa. The type 2 opsins (Rhodopsins are a subfamily of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs, a large and diverse class of seven transmembrane proteins and are generally restricted to metazoan lineages. Fungi use light receptors including opsins to sense the environment and transduce signals for developmental or metabolic changes. Opsins characterized in the Dikarya (Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes are of the type 1 bacteriorhodopsin family but the early diverging fungal lineages have not been as well surveyed. We identified by sequence similarity a rhodopsin-like GPCR in genomes of early diverging chytrids and examined the structural characteristics of this protein to assess its likelihood to be homologous to animal rhodopsins and bind similar chromophores. Methods We used template-based structure modeling, automated ligand docking, and molecular modeling to assess the structural and binding properties of an identified opsin-like protein found in Spizellomyces punctatus, a unicellular, flagellated species belonging to Chytridiomycota, one of the earliest diverging fungal lineages. We tested if the sequence and inferred structure were consistent with a solved crystal structure of a type 2 rhodopsin from the squid Todarodes pacificus. Results Our results indicate that the Spizellomyces opsin has structural characteristics consistent with functional animal type 2 rhodopsins and is capable of maintaining a stable structure when associated with the retinaldehyde chromophore, specifically the 9-cis-retinal isomer. Together, these results support further the homology of Spizellomyces opsins to animal type 2 rhodopsins. Discussion This represents the first test of structure/function relationship of a type 2 rhodopsin

  11. 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

  12. First record of chytridiomycosis in Bolivia (Rhinella quechua; Anura: Bufonidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrionuevo, J Sebastián; Aguayo, Rodrigo; Lavilla, Esteban O

    2008-11-20

    The finding of tadpoles of Rhinella quechua (Huayramayu River, Carrasco National Park, Cochabamba, Bolivia) with oral abnormalities caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis constitutes the first record of this fungal infection reported for Bolivian amphibians.

  13. Widespread occurrence of bd in French Guiana, South America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie A Courtois

    Full Text Available The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd is a purported agent of decline and extinction of many amphibian populations worldwide. Its occurrence remains poorly documented in many tropical regions, including the Guiana Shield, despite the area's high amphibian diversity. We conducted a comprehensive assessment of Bd in French Guiana in order to (1 determine its geographical distribution, (2 test variation of Bd prevalence among species in French Guiana and compare it to earlier reported values in other South American anuran species (http://www.bd-maps.net; 123 species from 15 genera to define sentinel species for future work, (3 track changes in prevalence through time and (4 determine if Bd presence had a negative effect on one selected species. We tested the presence of Bd in 14 species at 11 sites for a total of 1053 samples (306 in 2009 and 747 in 2012. At least one Bd-positive individual was found at eight out of 11 sites, suggesting a wide distribution of Bd in French Guiana. The pathogen was not uniformly distributed among the studied amphibian hosts, with Dendrobatidae species displaying the highest prevalence (12.4% as compared to Bufonidae (2.6 % and Hylidae (1.5%. In contrast to earlier reported values, we found highest prevalence for three Dendrobatidae species and two of them displayed an increase in Bd prevalence from 2009 to 2012. Those three species might be the sentinel species of choice for French Guiana. For Dendrobates tinctorius, of key conservation value in the Guiana Shield, smaller female individuals were more likely to be infected, suggesting either that frogs can outgrow their chytrid infections or that the disease induces developmental stress limiting growth. Generally, our study supports the idea that Bd is more widespread than previously thought and occurs at remote places in the lowland forest of the Guiana shield.

  14. Electron microscopy of Chytridiomycosis and the need to re-examine the disease from the gene to the cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hyatt, A.; Siddon, N.; Speare, R.

    2003-01-01

    Full text: Over the past three decades there has been a global decline of amphibian populations. A variety of causative factors, including increased ultra violet radiation, habitat destruction and chemical pollution have been proposed; these, however, have not been correlated with all amphibian declines in the protected areas of Australia or overseas. During the past five years a network of electron microscopists, veterinary pathologists, molecular biologists and ecologists have been working on identifying the etiological agent. Examination of skin from a large number of dead and moribund frogs revealed 'a fungus belonging to the phylum Chytridiomycota and order Chytridiales. The fungus has been demonstrated to cause the disease chytridiomycosis which is now recognised as a fatal disease of amphibians and is the most common disease of Australian frogs. The fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) was originally identified by electron microscopy, and is the only member of the Chytridiomycota that causes disease in vertebrates. The fungus has a broad amphibian host range and occurs worldwide. A total of 94 amphibian species from 15 families have been found infected with B. dendrobatidis, from Australia, South America, Central America, North America, Europe, New Zealand and Africa. Electron microscopy (transmission, scanning, immuno and cryo) provided pivotal information on pathogen identification and understanding of the life cycle of the organism. However, what light and electron microscopy has not been able to elucidate is the cause of death within the infected animals. Many veterinary pathologists have examined the 'pathology' of the disease but are unable to agree on the probable causes (physiological processes) associated with the death of the infected animals. Two hypotheses exist the chytrid irreversibly affects the osmoregulatory ability of the amphibians and the chytrid releases a toxin that over time leads to the death of the animals. The cause of death

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

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    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.

  16. 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. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  17. 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.

  18. Long-term observations of Boreal Toads at an ARMI apex site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn, Paul Stephen; Muths, Erin L.; Pilliod, David S.

    2011-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey’s Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) is a national project with goals to monitor the status and trends of amphibians, conduct research on causes of declines, and provide information and support to management agencies for conservation of amphibian populations. ARMI activities are organized around extensive inventories and place-based monitoring (such as collaboration with the Greater Yellowstone Inventory and Monitoring Network), and intensive population studies and research at selected locations (apex sites). One such site is an oxbow pond on the Buffalo Fork near the Black Rock Ranger Station east of Grand Teton National Park. We have been conducting mark-recapture of boreal toads (Anaxyrus boreas) at Black Rock since 2002. In concert with studies of other toad populations in the Rocky Mountains, we have documented a high rate of incidence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and a negative rate of growth of the toad population, but not the population crash or extinction observed in other populations with high prevalence of Bd. Long-term observations at other ARMI apex sites have proven invaluable for studying effects of climate change on amphibian behavior, and the Black Rock site has been upgraded with onsite recording of weather data and auditory monitoring of other amphibian species. Continued research at Black Rock will be critical for understanding the interrelated effects of climate and disease on amphibians in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

  19. Global amphibian declines: perspectives from the United States and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Densmore, Christine L.; Cipriano, R.C.; Bruckner, A.W.; Shchelkunov, I.S.

    2011-01-01

    Over recent decades, amphibians have experienced population declines, extirpations and species-level extinctions at an alarming rate. Numerous potential etiologies for amphibian declines have been postulated including climate and habitat degradation. Other potential anthropogenic causes including overexploitation and the frequent introductions of invasive predatory species have also been blamed for amphibian declines. Still other underlying factors may include infectious diseases caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, pathogenic viruses (Ranavirus), and other agents. It is nearly certain that more than one etiology is to blame for the majority of the global amphibian declines, and that these causal factors include some combination of climatological or physical habitat destabilization and infectious disease, most notably chytridiomycosis. Scientific research efforts are aimed at elucidating these etiologies on local, regional, and global scales that we might better understand and counteract the driving forces behind amphibian declines. Conservation efforts as outlined in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan of 2005 are also being made to curtail losses and prevent further extinctions wherever possible.

  20. The demography of Atelopus decline: Harlequin frog survival and abundance in central Panama prior to and during a disease outbreak

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    Rebecca McCaffery

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Harlequin frogs (Bufonidae: Atelopus are a species-rich genus of Neotropical toads that have experienced disproportionately severe population declines and extinctions caused by the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. The genus Atelopus is of high conservation concern, but relatively little is known about the population dynamics and life history of the majority of species. We examined the demography of one population of Atelopus zeteki and two populations of A. varius in central Panama using three to six years of mark-recapture data collected prior to and during an outbreak of Bd. We estimated male survival probabilities prior to the arrival of Bd and sex-specific population sizes for these three populations using state-space Bayesian population models. Prior to the arrival of Bd, monthly apparent survival probabilities were higher for A. varius males than for A. zeteki males, and recaptures among years were low in both species. Abundance of both species varied over time and declined rapidly after the arrival of Bd. Male densities were generally greater than female densities, though female densities were higher or equivalent to males after the arrival of Bd. Estimates of survival and abundance over time may be explained by differences in the use of stream habitat by the two sexes and three populations, both during and between breeding seasons. These estimates provide key baseline population information that can be used to inform reintroductions from captive assurance colonies and studies of extant Atelopus populations as part of conservation and management programs.

  1. Disease in a more variable and unpredictable climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, T. A.; Raffel, T.; Rohr, J. R.; Halstead, N.; Venesky, M.; Romansic, J.

    2014-12-01

    Global climate change is shifting the dynamics of infectious diseases of humans and wildlife with potential adverse consequences for disease control. Despite this, the role of global climate change in the decline of biodiversity and the emergence of infectious diseases remains controversial. Climate change is expected to increase climate variability in addition to increasing mean temperatures, making climate less predictable. However, few empirical or theoretical studies have considered the effects of climate variability or predictability on disease, despite it being likely that hosts and parasites will have differential responses to climatic shifts. Here we present a theoretical framework for how temperature variation and its predictability influence disease risk by affecting host and parasite acclimation responses. Laboratory experiments and field data on disease-associated frog declines in Latin America support this framework and provide evidence that unpredictable temperature fluctuations, on both monthly and diurnal timescales, decrease frog resistance to the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Furthermore, the pattern of temperature-dependent growth of the fungus on frogs was inconsistent with the pattern of Bd growth in culture, emphasizing the importance of accounting for the host-parasite interaction when predicting climate-dependent disease dynamics. Consistent with our laboratory experiments, increased regional temperature variability associated with global El Niño climatic events was the best predictor of widespread amphibian losses in the genus Atelopus. Thus, incorporating the effects of small-scale temporal variability in climate can greatly improve our ability to predict the effects of climate change on disease.

  2. Epidemic disease decimates amphibian abundance, species diversity, and evolutionary history in the highlands of central Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Andrew J; Lips, Karen R; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2010-08-03

    Amphibian populations around the world are experiencing unprecedented declines attributed to a chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Despite the severity of the crisis, quantitative analyses of the effects of the epidemic on amphibian abundance and diversity have been unavailable as a result of the lack of equivalent data collected before and following disease outbreak. We present a community-level assessment combining long-term field surveys and DNA barcode data describing changes in abundance and evolutionary diversity within the amphibian community of El Copé, Panama, following a disease epidemic and mass-mortality event. The epidemic reduced taxonomic, lineage, and phylogenetic diversity similarly. We discovered that 30 species were lost, including five undescribed species, representing 41% of total amphibian lineage diversity in El Copé. These extirpations represented 33% of the evolutionary history of amphibians within the community, and variation in the degree of population loss and decline among species was random with respect to the community phylogeny. Our approach provides a fast, economical, and informative analysis of loss in a community whether measured by species or phylogenetic diversity.

  3. Population recovery following decline in an endangered stream-breeding frog (Mixophyes fleayi from subtropical Australia.

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    David Alan Newell

    Full Text Available Amphibians have undergone dramatic declines and extinctions worldwide. Prominent among these have been the stream-breeding frogs in the rainforests of eastern Australia. The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd has been postulated as the primary cause of these declines. We conducted a capture-mark-recapture study over a 7-year period on the endangered Fleay's barred frog (Mixophyes fleayi at two independent streams (30 km apart in order to assess the stability of these populations. This species had undergone a severe decline across its narrow geographic range. Mark-recapture modelling showed that the number of individuals increased 3-10 fold along stream transects over this period. Frog detection probabilities were frequently above 50% but declined as the populations increased. Adult survival was important to overall population persistence in light of low recruitment events, suggesting that longevity may be a key factor in this recovery. One male and female were present in the capture record for >6 years. This study provides an unambiguous example of population recovery in the presence of Bd.

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

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    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.

  5. Using a Bayesian network to clarify areas requiring research in a host-pathogen system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bower, D S; Mengersen, K; Alford, R A; Schwarzkopf, L

    2017-12-01

    Bayesian network analyses can be used to interactively change the strength of effect of variables in a model to explore complex relationships in new ways. In doing so, they allow one to identify influential nodes that are not well studied empirically so that future research can be prioritized. We identified relationships in host and pathogen biology to examine disease-driven declines of amphibians associated with amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). We constructed a Bayesian network consisting of behavioral, genetic, physiological, and environmental variables that influence disease and used them to predict host population trends. We varied the impacts of specific variables in the model to reveal factors with the most influence on host population trend. The behavior of the nodes (the way in which the variables probabilistically responded to changes in states of the parents, which are the nodes or variables that directly influenced them in the graphical model) was consistent with published results. The frog population had a 49% probability of decline when all states were set at their original values, and this probability increased when body temperatures were cold, the immune system was not suppressing infection, and the ambient environment was conducive to growth of B. dendrobatidis. These findings suggest the construction of our model reflected the complex relationships characteristic of host-pathogen interactions. Changes to climatic variables alone did not strongly influence the probability of population decline, which suggests that climate interacts with other factors such as the capacity of the frog immune system to suppress disease. Changes to the adaptive immune system and disease reservoirs had a large effect on the population trend, but there was little empirical information available for model construction. Our model inputs can be used as a base to examine other systems, and our results show that such analyses are useful tools for

  6. Inhibition of Fungal Pathogens across Genotypes and Temperatures by Amphibian Skin Bacteria

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    Carly R. Muletz-Wolz

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Symbiotic bacteria may dampen the impacts of infectious diseases on hosts by inhibiting pathogen growth. However, our understanding of the generality of pathogen inhibition by different bacterial taxa across pathogen genotypes and environmental conditions is limited. Bacterial inhibitory properties are of particular interest for the amphibian-killing fungal pathogens (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, for which probiotic applications as conservation strategies have been proposed. We quantified the inhibition strength of five putatively B. dendrobatidis-inhibitory bacteria isolated from woodland salamander skin against six Batrachochytrium genotypes at two temperatures (12 and 18°C. We selected six genotypes from across the Batrachochytrium phylogeny: B. salamandrivorans, B. dendrobatidis-Brazil and four genotypes of the B. dendrobatidis Global Panzootic Lineage (GPL1: JEL647, JEL404; GPL2: SRS810, JEL423. We performed 96-well plate challenge assays in a full factorial design. We detected a Batrachochytrium genotype by temperature interaction on bacterial inhibition score for all bacteria, indicating that bacteria vary in ability to inhibit Batrachochytrium depending on pathogen genotype and temperature. Acinetobacter rhizosphaerae moderately inhibited B. salamandrivorans at both temperatures (μ = 46–53%, but not any B. dendrobatidis genotypes. Chryseobacterium sp. inhibited three Batrachochytrium genotypes at both temperatures (μ = 5–71%. Pseudomonas sp. strain 1 inhibited all Batrachochytrium genotypes at 12°C and four Batrachochytrium genotypes at 18°C (μ = 5–100%. Pseudomonas sp. strain 2 and Stenotrophomonas sp. moderately to strongly inhibited all six Batrachochytrium genotypes at both temperatures (μ = 57–100%. All bacteria consistently inhibited B. salamandrivorans. Using cluster analysis of inhibition scores, we found that more closely related Batrachochytrium genotypes grouped together

  7. Antifungal Bacteria on Woodland Salamander Skin Exhibit High Taxonomic Diversity and Geographic Variability.

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    Muletz-Wolz, Carly R; DiRenzo, Graziella V; Yarwood, Stephanie A; Campbell Grant, Evan H; Fleischer, Robert C; Lips, Karen R

    2017-05-01

    Diverse bacteria inhabit amphibian skin; some of those bacteria inhibit growth of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Yet there has been no systematic survey of anti- B. dendrobatidis bacteria across localities, species, and elevations. This is important given geographic and taxonomic variations in amphibian susceptibility to B. dendrobatidis Our collection sites were at locations within the Appalachian Mountains where previous sampling had indicated low B. dendrobatidis prevalence. We determined the numbers and identities of anti- B. dendrobatidis bacteria on 61 Plethodon salamanders (37 P. cinereus , 15 P. glutinosus , 9 P. cylindraceus ) via culturing methods and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We sampled co-occurring species at three localities and sampled P. cinereus along an elevational gradient (700 to 1,000 meters above sea level [masl]) at one locality. We identified 50 anti- B. dendrobatidis bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and found that the degree of B. dendrobatidis inhibition was not correlated with relatedness. Five anti- B. dendrobatidis bacterial strains occurred on multiple amphibian species at multiple localities, but none were shared among all species and localities. The prevalence of anti- B. dendrobatidis bacteria was higher at Shenandoah National Park (NP), VA, with 96% (25/26) of salamanders hosting at least one anti- B. dendrobatidis bacterial species compared to 50% (7/14) at Catoctin Mountain Park (MP), MD, and 38% (8/21) at Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area (NRA), VA. At the individual level, salamanders at Shenandoah NP had more anti- B. dendrobatidis bacteria per individual (μ = 3.3) than those at Catoctin MP (μ = 0.8) and at Mt. Rogers NRA (μ = 0.4). All salamanders tested negative for B. dendrobatidis Anti- B. dendrobatidis bacterial species are diverse in central Appalachian Plethodon salamanders, and their distribution varied geographically. The antifungal bacterial species that we identified may play a

  8. Conservation, duplication, and loss of the Tor signaling pathway in the fungal kingdom

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    Heitman Joseph

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The nutrient-sensing Tor pathway governs cell growth and is conserved in nearly all eukaryotic organisms from unicellular yeasts to multicellular organisms, including humans. Tor is the target of the immunosuppressive drug rapamycin, which in complex with the prolyl isomerase FKBP12 inhibits Tor functions. Rapamycin is a gold standard drug for organ transplant recipients that was approved by the FDA in 1999 and is finding additional clinical indications as a chemotherapeutic and antiproliferative agent. Capitalizing on the plethora of recently sequenced genomes we have conducted comparative genomic studies to annotate the Tor pathway throughout the fungal kingdom and related unicellular opisthokonts, including Monosiga brevicollis, Salpingoeca rosetta, and Capsaspora owczarzaki. Results Interestingly, the Tor signaling cascade is absent in three microsporidian species with available genome sequences, the only known instance of a eukaryotic group lacking this conserved pathway. The microsporidia are obligate intracellular pathogens with highly reduced genomes, and we hypothesize that they lost the Tor pathway as they adapted and streamlined their genomes for intracellular growth in a nutrient-rich environment. Two TOR paralogs are present in several fungal species as a result of either a whole genome duplication or independent gene/segmental duplication events. One such event was identified in the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a chytrid responsible for worldwide global amphibian declines and extinctions. Conclusions The repeated independent duplications of the TOR gene in the fungal kingdom might reflect selective pressure acting upon this kinase that populates two proteinaceous complexes with different cellular roles. These comparative genomic analyses illustrate the evolutionary trajectory of a central nutrient-sensing cascade that enables diverse eukaryotic organisms to respond to their natural

  9. We Made Your Bed, Why Won't You Lie in It? Food Availability and Disease May Affect Reproductive Output of Reintroduced Frogs.

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    Kaya Klop-Toker

    Full Text Available Mitigation to offset the impacts of land development is becoming increasingly common, with reintroductions and created habitat programs used as key actions. However, numerous reviews cite high rates of poor success from these programs, and a need for improved monitoring and scientific testing to evaluate outcomes and improve management actions. We conducted extensive monitoring of a released population of endangered green and golden bell frogs, Litoria aurea, within a created habitat, as well as complementary surveys of a surrounding wild population. We then compared differences between the created habitat and natural ponds where extant frogs either bred or didn't breed in order to determine factors that contributed to the breeding failure within the created habitat. We evaluated differences of L. aurea abundance, abundance of other fauna, vegetation, water quality, habitat structure, invasive fish, and disease between the three pond types (created habitat, breeding ponds, non-breeding ponds. We discovered that vegetation and invertebrate diversity were low within the created habitat, potentially reducing energy and nutritional resources required for breeding. Also, a greater proportion of frogs in the created habitat were carrying the chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, compared to the wild populations. In addition to causing the potentially fatal disease, chytridiomycosis, this pathogen has been shown to reduce reproductive functioning in male L. aurea, and subsequently may have reduced reproductive activities in the created habitat. Conspecific attraction, pond hydrology, and aquatic vegetation may also have had some influence on breeding behaviours, whilst the presence of the invasive mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, and heterospecific tadpoles were unlikely to have deterred L. aurea from breeding within the created habitat. Through the use of scientific testing and monitoring, this study is able to make recommendations

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglin, William A.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Anderson, Chauncey; Calhoun, Daniel L.; Chestnut, Tara E.; Muths, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. 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

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

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    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

  13. Influence of demography and environment on persistence in toad populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Brad A.; Schorr, Robert A.; Schneider, Scott C.; Muths, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    Effective conservation of rare species requires an understanding of how potential threats affect population dynamics. Unfortunately, information about population demographics prior to threats (i.e., baseline data) is lacking for many species. Perturbations, caused by climate change, disease, or other stressors can lead to population declines and heightened conservation concerns. Boreal toads (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) have undergone rangewide declines due mostly to the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), with only a few sizable populations remaining in the southern Rocky Mountains, USA, that are disease-free. Despite the apparent region-wide occurrence of Bd, our focal populations in central Colorado were disease free over a 14-year capture-mark-recapture study until the recent discovery of Bd at one of the sites. We used recapture data and the Pradel reverse-time model to assess the influence of environmental and site-specific conditions on survival and recruitment. We then forecast changes in the toad populations with 2 growth models; one using an average lambda value to initiate the projection, and one using the most recent value to capture potential effects of the incursion of disease into the system. Adult survival was consistently high at the 3 sites, whereas recruitment was more variable and markedly low at 1 site. We found that active season moisture, active season length, and breeding shallows were important factors in estimating recruitment. Population growth models indicated a slight increase at 1 site but decreasing trends at the 2 other sites, possibly influenced by low recruitment. Insight into declining species management can be gained from information on survival and recruitment and how site-specific environmental factors influence these demographic parameters. Our data are particularly useful because they provide baseline data on demographics in populations before a disease outbreak and enhance our ability to detect changes

  14. Amphibian commerce as a likely source of pathogen pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picco, Angela M; Collins, James P

    2008-12-01

    The commercial trade of wildlife occurs on a global scale. In addition to removing animals from their native populations, this trade may lead to the release and subsequent introduction of nonindigenous species and the pathogens they carry. Emerging infectious diseases, such as chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and ranaviral disease have spread with global trade in amphibians and are linked to amphibian declines and die-offs worldwide, which suggests that the commercial trade in amphibians may be a source of pathogen pollution. We screened tiger salamanders involved in the bait trade in the western United States for both ranaviruses and Bd with polymerase chain reaction and used oral reports from bait shops and ranavirus DNA sequences from infected bait salamanders to determine how these animals and their pathogens are moved geographically by commerce. In addition, we conducted 2 surveys of anglers to determine how often tiger salamanders are used as bait and how often they are released into fishing waters by anglers, and organized bait-shop surveys to determine whether tiger salamanders are released back into the wild after being housed in bait shops. Ranaviruses were detected in the tiger salamander bait trade in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, and Bd was detected in Arizona bait shops. Ranaviruses were spread geographically through the bait trade. All tiger salamanders in the bait trade were collected from the wild, and in general they moved east to west and north to south, bringing with them their multiple ranavirus strains. Finally, 26-73% of anglers used tiger salamanders as fishing bait, 26-67% of anglers released tiger salamanders bought as bait into fishing waters, and 4% of bait shops released tiger salamanders back into the wild after they were housed in shops with infected animals. The tiger salamander bait trade in the western United States is a useful model for understanding the consequences of the

  15. Of poisons and parasites-the defensive role of tetrodotoxin against infections in newts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Pieter T J; Calhoun, Dana M; Stokes, Amber N; Susbilla, Calvin B; McDevitt-Galles, Travis; Briggs, Cheryl J; Hoverman, Jason T; Tkach, Vasyl V; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2018-02-24

    Classical research on animal toxicity has focused on the role of toxins in protection against predators, but recent studies suggest these same compounds can offer a powerful defense against parasites and infectious diseases. Newts in the genus Taricha are brightly coloured and contain the potent neurotoxin, tetrodotoxin (TTX), which is hypothesized to have evolved as a defense against vertebrate predators such as garter snakes. However, newt populations often vary dramatically in toxicity, which is only partially explained by predation pressure. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the relationships between TTX concentration and infection by parasites. By systematically assessing micro- and macroparasite infections among 345 adult newts (sympatric populations of Taricha granulosa and T. torosa), we detected 18 unique taxa of helminths, fungi, viruses and protozoans. For both newt species, per-host concentrations of TTX, which varied from undetectable to >60 μg/cm 2 skin, negatively predicted overall parasite richness as well as the likelihood of infection by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, and ranavirus. No such effect was found on infection load among infected hosts. Despite commonly occurring at the same wetlands, T. torosa supported higher parasite richness and average infection load than T. granulosa. Host body size and sex (females > males) tended to positively predict infection levels in both species. For hosts in which we quantified leucocyte profiles, total white blood cell count correlated positively with both parasite richness and total infection load. By coupling data on host toxicity and infection by a broad range of micro- and macroparasites, these results suggest that-alongside its effects on predators-tetrodotoxin may help protect newts against parasitic infections, highlighting the importance of integrative research on animal chemistry, immunological defenses and natural enemy ecology. © 2018 The Authors. Journal

  16. Panamanian frog species host unique skin bacterial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa K. Belden

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Vertebrates, including amphibians, host diverse symbiotic microbes that contribute to host disease resistance. Globally, and especially in montane tropical systems, many amphibian species are threatened by a chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, that causes a lethal skin disease. Bd therefore may be a strong selective agent on the diversity and function of the microbial communities inhabiting amphibian skin. In Panamá, amphibian population declines and the spread of Bd have been tracked. In 2012, we completed a field survey in Panamá to examine frog skin microbiota in the context of Bd infection. We focused on three frog species and collected two skin swabs per frog from a total of 136 frogs across four sites that varied from west to east in the time since Bd arrival. One swab was used to assess bacterial community structure using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing and to determine Bd infection status, and one was used to assess metabolite diversity, as the bacterial production of anti-fungal metabolites is an important disease resistance function. The skin microbiota of the three Panamanian frog species differed in OTU (operational taxonomic unit, ~bacterial species community composition and metabolite profiles, although the pattern was less strong for the metabolites. Comparisons between frog skin bacterial communities from Panamá and the US suggest broad similarities at the phylum level, but key differences at lower taxonomic levels. In our field survey in Panamá, across all four sites, only 35 individuals (~26% were Bd infected. There was no clustering of OTUs or metabolite profiles based on Bd infection status and no clear pattern of west-east changes in OTUs or metabolite profiles across the four sites. Overall, our field survey data suggest that different bacterial communities might be producing broadly similar sets of metabolites across frog hosts and sites. Community structure and function may not be as tightly coupled in

  17. Whether the weather drives patterns of endemic amphibian chytridiomycosis: a pathogen proliferation approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kris A Murray

    Full Text Available The pandemic amphibian disease chytridiomycosis often exhibits strong seasonality in both prevalence and disease-associated mortality once it becomes endemic. One hypothesis that could explain this temporal pattern is that simple weather-driven pathogen proliferation (population growth is a major driver of chytridiomycosis disease dynamics. Despite various elaborations of this hypothesis in the literature for explaining amphibian declines (e.g., the chytrid thermal-optimum hypothesis it has not been formally tested on infection patterns in the wild. In this study we developed a simple process-based model to simulate the growth of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd under varying weather conditions to provide an a priori test of a weather-linked pathogen proliferation hypothesis for endemic chytridiomycosis. We found strong support for several predictions of the proliferation hypothesis when applied to our model species, Litoria pearsoniana, sampled across multiple sites and years: the weather-driven simulations of pathogen growth potential (represented as a growth index in the 30 days prior to sampling; GI30 were positively related to both the prevalence and intensity of Bd infections, which were themselves strongly and positively correlated. In addition, a machine-learning classifier achieved ~72% success in classifying positive qPCR results when utilising just three informative predictors 1 GI30, 2 frog body size and 3 rain on the day of sampling. Hence, while intrinsic traits of the individuals sampled (species, size, sex and nuisance sampling variables (rainfall when sampling influenced infection patterns obtained when sampling via qPCR, our results also strongly suggest that weather-linked pathogen proliferation plays a key role in the infection dynamics of endemic chytridiomycosis in our study system. Predictive applications of the model include surveillance design, outbreak preparedness and response, climate change scenario

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R

    2010-05-04

    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.

  1. Whether the weather drives patterns of endemic amphibian chytridiomycosis: a pathogen proliferation approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Kris A; Skerratt, Lee F; Garland, Stephen; Kriticos, Darren; McCallum, Hamish

    2013-01-01

    The pandemic amphibian disease chytridiomycosis often exhibits strong seasonality in both prevalence and disease-associated mortality once it becomes endemic. One hypothesis that could explain this temporal pattern is that simple weather-driven pathogen proliferation (population growth) is a major driver of chytridiomycosis disease dynamics. Despite various elaborations of this hypothesis in the literature for explaining amphibian declines (e.g., the chytrid thermal-optimum hypothesis) it has not been formally tested on infection patterns in the wild. In this study we developed a simple process-based model to simulate the growth of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) under varying weather conditions to provide an a priori test of a weather-linked pathogen proliferation hypothesis for endemic chytridiomycosis. We found strong support for several predictions of the proliferation hypothesis when applied to our model species, Litoria pearsoniana, sampled across multiple sites and years: the weather-driven simulations of pathogen growth potential (represented as a growth index in the 30 days prior to sampling; GI30) were positively related to both the prevalence and intensity of Bd infections, which were themselves strongly and positively correlated. In addition, a machine-learning classifier achieved ~72% success in classifying positive qPCR results when utilising just three informative predictors 1) GI30, 2) frog body size and 3) rain on the day of sampling. Hence, while intrinsic traits of the individuals sampled (species, size, sex) and nuisance sampling variables (rainfall when sampling) influenced infection patterns obtained when sampling via qPCR, our results also strongly suggest that weather-linked pathogen proliferation plays a key role in the infection dynamics of endemic chytridiomycosis in our study system. Predictive applications of the model include surveillance design, outbreak preparedness and response, climate change scenario modelling and

  2. Regional decline of an iconic amphibian associated with elevation, land-use change, and invasive species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Pieter T J; McKenzie, Valerie J; Peterson, Anna C; Kerby, Jacob L; Brown, Jennifer; Blaustein, Andrew R; Jackson, Tina

    2011-06-01

    Ecological theory predicts that species with restricted geographic ranges will have the highest probability of extinction, but species with extensive distributions and high population densities can also exhibit widespread population losses. In the western United States populations of northern leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens)-historically one of the most widespread frogs in North America-have declined dramatically in abundance and geographic distribution. To assess the status of leopard frogs in Colorado and evaluate causes of decline, we coupled statewide surveys of 196 historically occupied sites with intensive sampling of 274 wetlands stratified by land use. We used an information-theoretic approach to evaluate the contributions of factors at multiple spatial extents in explaining the contemporary distribution of leopard frogs. Our results indicate leopard frogs have declined in Colorado, but this decline was regionally variable. The lowest proportion of occupied wetlands occurred in eastern Colorado (2-28%), coincident with urban development and colonization by non-native bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus). Variables at several spatial extents explained observed leopard frog distributional patterns. In low-elevation wetlands introduced fishes, bullfrogs, and urbanization or suburbanization associated negatively with leopard frog occurrence, whereas wetland area was positively associated with occurrence. Leopard frogs were more abundant and widespread west of the Continental Divide, where urban development and bullfrog abundance were low. Although the pathogenic chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) was not selected in our best-supported models, the nearly complete extirpation of leopard frogs from montane wetlands could reflect the individual or interactive effects of Bd and climate patterns. Our results highlight the importance of considering multiple, competing hypotheses to explain species declines, particularly when implicated factors operate at

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonah Piovia-Scott; Karen Pope; S. Joy Worth; Erica Bree Rosenblum; Dean Simon; Gordon Warburton; Louise A. Rollins-Smith; Laura K. Reinert; Heather L. Wells; Dan Rejmanek; Sharon Lawler; Janet Foley

    2015-01-01

    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...

  4. Citizen scientists monitor a deadly fungus threatening amphibian communities in northern coastal California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karen L. Pope; Greta M. Wengert; Janet E. Foley; Donald T. Ashton; Richard G. Botzler

    2016-01-01

    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...

  5. 76 FR 61956 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Status for the Ozark Hellbender Salamander

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-06

    ... stated that animals infected with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (the pathogen which causes amphibian... seq.) is a law that was passed to prevent extinction of species by providing measures to help alleviate the loss of species and their habitats. Before a plant or animal species can receive the...

  6. 75 FR 56975 - Injurious Wildlife Species; Review of Information Concerning a Petition To List All Live...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-17

    ..., amphibians, and reptiles are the only organisms that can be added to the injurious wildlife list. The lists... Petition To List All Live Amphibians in Trade as Injurious Unless Free of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis... Wildlife Service (Service), are reviewing a petition to list, under the Lacey Act, all live amphibians or...

  7. Estimating Herd Immunity to Amphibian Chytridiomycosis in Madagascar Based on the Defensive Function of Amphibian Skin Bacteria

    OpenAIRE

    Bletz, Molly C.; Myers, Jillian; Woodhams, Douglas C.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C. E.; Rakotonirina, Angela; Weldon, Che; Edmonds, Devin; Vences, Miguel; Harris, Reid N.

    2017-01-01

    For decades, Amphibians have been globally threatened by the still expanding infectious disease, chytridiomycosis. Madagascar is an amphibian biodiversity hotspot where Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has only recently been detected. While no Bd-associated population declines have been reported, the risk of declines is high when invasive virulent lineages become involved. Cutaneous bacteria contribute to host innate immunity by providing defense against pathogens for numerous animals, inc...

  8. Experimental Repatriation of Mountain Yellow-legged Frogs (Rana muscosa) in the Sierra Nevada of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellers, Gary M.; Bradford, David F.; Pratt, David; Wood, Leslie

    2008-01-01

    insufficient to maintain a population. It appears that the causal factors for the demise of R. muscosa in the Tableland during the 1970s were still operating in the 1990s or that a new limiting factor has developed. Dispersal, weather, water quality, and predation do not appear to be causative agents; since fish have never been present in the portions of the watershed where we were working, they were not a factor. Observations and data are consistent with the hypotheses that chytridiomycosis, caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, and/or exposure to airborne pesticides caused both declines. However, at the time of our study, chytridiomycosis had not been described and the potentially significant role of contaminants was largely undocumented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-25

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Rödder, Dennis; Kielgast, Jos; Bielby, Jon; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Bosch, Jaime; Garner, Trenton W. J.; Veith, Michael; Walker, Susan; Fisher, Matthew C.; Lötters, Stefan

    2009-01-01

    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 varia...

  13. Early action to address an emerging wildlife disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J.; Harris, M. Camille; Grear, Daniel A.

    2017-02-23

    A deadly fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) that affects amphibian skin was discovered during a die-off of European fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) in 2014. This pathogen has the potential to worsen already severe worldwide amphibian declines. Bsal is a close relative to another fungal disease known as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Many scientists consider Bd to be the greatest threat to amphibian biodiversity of any disease because it affects a large number of species and has the unusual ability to drive species and populations to extinction.Although not yet detected in the United States, the emergence of Bsal could threaten the salamander population, which is the most diverse in the world. The spread of Bsal likely will lead to more State and federally listed threatened or endangered amphibian species, and associated economic effects.Because of the concern expressed by resource management agencies, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has made Bsal and similar pathogens a priority for research.

  14. Blood parasites of frogs from an equatorial African montane forest in western Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Readel, Anne M; Goldberg, Tony L

    2010-04-01

    In a survey of blood parasites in Ugandan frogs, 30 (17%) of 180 frogs were infected with at least 1 species of Hepatozoon or Trypanosoma, or with microfilariae. There were significant differences in the prevalence of parasitism among species, with parasitemia detected in only 3 of 9 species. The intensity of blood parasite infection ranged from 1 to 1,080 infected cells per 5,000 cells examined. Seasonal changes in the prevalence and intensity of parasitemia were not observed, nor was there any association between parasitemia and infection with the pandemic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

  15. Chytridiomycosis: a global threat to amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, P L L; Torres, A M C; Soares, D F M; Hijosa-Valsero, M; Bécares, E

    2013-12-01

    Chytridiomycosis, which is caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians. The disease is one of the main causes of the global decline in amphibians. The aetiological agent is ubiquitous, with worldwide distribution, and affects a large number of amphibian species in several biomes. In the last decade, scientific research has substantially increased knowledge of the aetiological agent and the associated infection. However, important epidemiological aspects of the environment-mediated interactions between the aetiological agent and the host are not yet clear. The objective of the present review is to describe chytridiomycosis with regard to the major features of the aetiological agent, the host and the environment.

  16. Parallels in amphibian and bat declines from pathogenic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskew, Evan A; Todd, Brian D

    2013-03-01

    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 history characteristics of the host, and host-pathogen interactions. We found striking similarities between these aspects of chytridiomycosis and white-nose syndrome, and the research that we review and propose should help guide management of future emerging fungal diseases.

  17. Microhabitat use and spatial distribution in Picado’s Bromeliad Treefrog, Isthmohyla picadoi (Anura, Hylidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam M. M. Stuckert

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Isthmohyla picadoi is a Neotropical hylid frog found in upper humid montane forests of Costa Rica and Panama. The species is of particular interest because it continues to persist in an area in which the amphibian community has otherwise been decimated by the pathogenic fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Ground search, ladder climbing, and tree climbing techniques were used to locate 32 individuals; including adult males and females, juveniles, andmetamorphosing frogs. The majority of frogs were found in bromeliads, although some individuals were found on plants of the Euphorbiaceae, Musaceae, and Heliconiaceae families. Most frogs were found in larger bromeliads (45 cm or wider. There was a positive correlation between SUL and bromeliad width within the population but not within maturity classes (adult males, adult females, all adults, nonmetamorphosingjuveniles, suggesting that juvenile and adult frogs differ in bromeliad usage. Ranges of SUL and body weight in this particular population are much greater than those reported in previous species accounts.

  18. First parasitological study of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis, Amphibia in Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristóbal Castillo

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduced species can arrive into new territories with parasites; however, these species are expected to face lower parasite richness than in their original regions. Both introduced hosts and parasites can affect native fauna. Since their release into the wild in Chile following laboratory use, Xenopus laevis Daudin, 1802 has widely spread throughout central Chile. The only pathogen described on the host is the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Longcore, Pessier, Nichols, 1999; thus, this is the first parasitological study of this species in Chile. In 10 localities in central Chile, 179 specimens of X. laevis were captured and examined for parasites in the gastrointestinal tube, cavities, lungs, liver, and skin. Only nine specimens of the genus Contracaecum Railliet, Henry, 1912 were found in six specimens of X. laevis from a private dam in La Patagua. It is likely that these parasites originated from species of native birds. This is the first record of Contracaecum sp. in Chilean amphibians.

  19. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U05261-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available DN828913 ) KUCD01_04_F02_T3 WSWR cDNA library Triticum aesti... 48 0.49 1 ( DB872994 ) Lipochromis sp. 'matu...berosum cDNA, ... 50 0.13 1 ( CK261371 ) EST707449 potato abiotic stress cDNA library Sola... 50 0.13 1 ( BQ...pergillus niger mRNA for hypothetical protein, ... 44 7.7 1 ( AL111181 ) Botrytis cinerea strain T4 cDNA library...) Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis strain JAM059 vari... 48 0.49 1 ( AL112706 ) Botrytis cinerea strain T4 cDNA library...3 ) GH_MBb0070I15f GH_MBb Gossypium hirsutum genomic ... 48 0.49 1 ( AL424547 ) T3 end of clone XAZ0AA001A10 of library

  20. Identifying species conservation strategies to reduce disease-associated declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerber, Brian D.; Converse, Sarah J.; Muths, Erin L.; Crockett, Harry J.; Mosher, Brittany A.; Bailey, Larissa L.

    2018-01-01

    Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are a salient threat to many animal taxa, causing local and global extinctions, altering communities and ecosystem function. The EID chytridiomycosis is a prominent driver of amphibian declines, which is caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). To guide conservation policy, we developed a predictive decision-analytic model that combines empirical knowledge of host-pathogen metapopulation dynamics with expert judgment regarding effects of management actions, to select from potential conservation strategies. We apply our approach to a boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) and Bd system, identifying optimal strategies that balance tradeoffs in maximizing toad population persistence and landscape-level distribution, while considering costs. The most robust strategy is expected to reduce the decline of toad breeding sites from 53% to 21% over 50 years. Our findings are incorporated into management policy to guide conservation planning. Our online modeling application provides a template for managers of other systems challenged by EIDs.

  1. A hydrogenosomal [Fe]-hydrogenase from the anaerobic chytrid Neocallimastix sp L2

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voncken, Frank G.J.; Boxma, Brigitte; Hoek, Angela H.A.M. van; Akhmanova, Anna S.; Vogels, Godfried D.; Huynen, Martijn; Veenhuis, Marten; Hackstein, Johannes H.P.

    2002-01-01

    The presence of a [Fe]-hydrogenase in the hydrogenosomes of the anaerobic chytridiomycete fungus Neocallimastix sp. L2 has been demonstrated by immunocytochemistry, subcellular fractionation, Western-blotting, and measurements of hydrogenase activity in the presence of various concentrations of

  2. Natural disturbance reduces disease risk in endangered rainforest frog populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roznik, Elizabeth A; Sapsford, Sarah J; Pike, David A; Schwarzkopf, Lin; Alford, Ross A

    2015-08-21

    Natural disturbances can drive disease dynamics in animal populations by altering the microclimates experienced by hosts and their pathogens. Many pathogens are highly sensitive to temperature and moisture, and therefore small changes in habitat structure can alter the microclimate in ways that increase or decrease infection prevalence and intensity in host populations. Here we show that a reduction of rainforest canopy cover caused by a severe tropical cyclone decreased the risk of endangered rainforest frogs (Litoria rheocola) becoming infected by a fungal pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). Reductions in canopy cover increased the temperatures and rates of evaporative water loss in frog microhabitats, which reduced B. dendrobatidis infection risk in frogs by an average of 11-28% in cyclone-damaged areas, relative to unaffected areas. Natural disturbances to the rainforest canopy can therefore provide an immediate benefit to frogs by altering the microclimate in ways that reduce infection risk. This could increase host survival and reduce the probability of epidemic disease outbreaks. For amphibian populations under immediate threat from this pathogen, targeted manipulation of canopy cover could increase the availability of warmer, drier microclimates and therefore tip the balance from host extinction to coexistence.

  3. Risk of survival, establishment and spread of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) in the EU

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare; More, Simon; Miranda, Miguel Angel

    2018-01-01

    , Germany and the Netherlands. According to niche modelling, at least part of the distribution range of every salamander species in Europe overlaps with the climate conditions predicted to be suitable for Bsal. Passive surveillance is considered the most suitable approach for detection of Bsal emergence...... considered the most feasible and effective: (i) for ensuring safer international or intra‐EU trade of live salamanders, are: ban or restrictions on salamander imports, hygiene procedures and good practice manuals; (ii) for protecting kept salamanders from Bsal, are: identification and treatment of positive...... the overall effectiveness. It is recommended to: introduce a harmonised protocol for Bsal detection throughout the EU; improve data acquisition on salamander abundance and distribution; enhance passive surveillance activities; increase public and professionals’ awareness; condition any movement of captive...

  4. Multiple origins of hydrogenosomes: functional and phylogenetic evidence from the ADP/ATP carrier of the anaerobic chytrid Neocallimastix sp.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voncken, F.L.M.; Boxma, B.; Tjaden, J.; Akhmanova, A.S.; Huynen, M.A.; Verbeek, F.; Tielens, A.G.; Haferkamp, I.; Neuhaus, H.E.; Vogels, G.D.; Veenhuis, M.; Hackstein, J.H.P.

    2002-01-01

    A mitochondrial-type ADP/ATP carrier (AAC) has been identified in the hydrogenosomes of the anaerobic chytridiomycete fungus Neocallimastix sp. L2. Biochemical and immunocytochemical studies revealed that this ADP/ATP carrier is an integral component of hydrogenosomal membranes. Expression of the

  5. Multiple origins of hydrogenosomes : functional and phylogenetic evidence from the ADP/ATP carrier of the anaerobic chytrid Neocallimastix sp.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voncken, F; Boxma, B; Tjaden, J; Akhmanova, A; Huynen, M; Tielens, AGM; Haferkamp, [No Value; Neuhaus, HE; Vogels, G; Veenhuis, M; Hackstein, JHP; Tielens, Aloysius G.M.; Haferkamp, Ilka; Hackstein, Johannes H.P.

    A mitochondrial-type ADP/ATP carrier (AAC) has been identified in the hydrogenosomes of the anaerobic chytridiomycete fungus Neocallimastix sp. L2. Biochemical and immunocytochemical studies revealed that this ADP/ATP carrier is an integral component of hydrogenosomal membranes. Expression of the

  6. Chironomidae bloodworms larvae as aquatic amphibian food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fard, Mojdeh Sharifian; Pasmans, Frank; Adriaensen, Connie; Laing, Gijs Du; Janssens, Geert Paul Jules; Martel, An

    2014-01-01

    Different species of chironomids larvae (Diptera: Chironomidae) so-called bloodworms are widely distributed in the sediments of all types of freshwater habitats and considered as an important food source for amphibians. In our study, three species of Chironomidae (Baeotendipes noctivagus, Benthalia dissidens, and Chironomus riparius) were identified in 23 samples of larvae from Belgium, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine provided by a distributor in Belgium. We evaluated the suitability of these samples as amphibian food based on four different aspects: the likelihood of amphibian pathogens spreading, risk of heavy metal accumulation in amphibians, nutritive value, and risk of spreading of zoonotic bacteria (Salmonella, Campylobacter, and ESBL producing Enterobacteriaceae). We found neither zoonotic bacteria nor the amphibian pathogens Ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in these samples. Our data showed that among the five heavy metals tested (Hg, Cu, Cd, Pb, and Zn), the excess level of Pb in two samples and low content of Zn in four samples implicated potential risk of Pb accumulation and Zn inadequacy. Proximate nutritional analysis revealed that, chironomidae larvae are consistently high in protein but more variable in lipid content. Accordingly, variations in the lipid: protein ratio can affect the amount and pathway of energy supply to the amphibians. Our study indicated although environmentally-collected chironomids larvae may not be vectors of specific pathogens, they can be associated with nutritional imbalances and may also result in Pb bioaccumulation and Zn inadequacy in amphibians. Chironomidae larvae may thus not be recommended as single diet item for amphibians. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Seasonal migrations, body temperature fluctuations, and infection dynamics in adult amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David R. Daversa

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Risks of parasitism vary over time, with infection prevalence often fluctuating with seasonal changes in the annual cycle. Identifying the biological mechanisms underlying seasonality in infection can enable better prediction and prevention of future infection peaks. Obtaining longitudinal data on individual infections and traits across seasons throughout the annual cycle is perhaps the most effective means of achieving this aim, yet few studies have obtained such information for wildlife. Here, we tracked spiny common toads (Bufo spinosus within and across annual cycles to assess seasonal variation in movement, body temperatures and infection from the fungal parasite, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Across annual cycles, toads did not consistently sustain infections but instead gained and lost infections from year to year. Radio-tracking showed that infected toads lose infections during post-breeding migrations, and no toads contracted infection following migration, which may be one explanation for the inter-annual variability in Bd infections. We also found pronounced seasonal variation in toad body temperatures. Body temperatures approached 0 °C during winter hibernation but remained largely within the thermal tolerance range of Bd. These findings provide direct documentation of migratory recovery (i.e., loss of infection during migration and escape in a wild population. The body temperature reductions that we observed during hibernation warrant further consideration into the role that this period plays in seasonal Bd dynamics.

  8. Population dynamics of the critically endangered toad Atelopus cruciger and the fungal disease chytridiomycosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Señaris, Celsa; García, Carmen Zulay

    2017-01-01

    Harlequin toads (Atelopus) are among the most severely impacted amphibians by the emergence of chytridiomycosis, a fungal disease caused by the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Many species disappeared while others suffered drastic contractions of their geographic distribution to lower altitudes. A diminished virulence of Bd in warm habitats was proposed to explain the survival of lowland populations of harlequin toads (i.e. thermal refuge hypothesis). To understand the mechanisms that allow some populations to reach an endemic equilibrium with this pathogen, we estimated demographic and epidemiological parameters at one remnant population of Atelopus cruciger in Venezuela using mark-recapture data from 2007–2013. We demonstrated that Bd is highly virulent for A. cruciger, increasing the odds of dying of infected adults four times in relation to uninfected ones and reducing the life expectancy of reproductive toads to a few weeks. Despite an estimated annual loss of 18% of the reproductive population due to Bd-induced mortality, this population has persisted in an endemic equilibrium for the last decade through the large recruitment of healthy adults every year. Given the high vulnerability of harlequin toads to Bd in lowland populations, thermal refuges need to be redefined as habitats of reduced transmission rather than attenuated virulence. PMID:28570689

  9. 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. © 2015, The International Biometric Society.

  10. Survival, gene and metabolite responses of Litoria verreauxii alpina frogs to fungal disease chytridiomycosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grogan, Laura F.; Mulvenna, Jason; Gummer, Joel P. A.; Scheele, Ben C.; Berger, Lee; Cashins, Scott D.; McFadden, Michael S.; Harlow, Peter; Hunter, David A.; Trengove, Robert D.; Skerratt, Lee F.

    2018-03-01

    The fungal skin disease chytridiomycosis has caused the devastating decline and extinction of hundreds of amphibian species globally, yet the potential for evolving resistance, and the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms remain poorly understood. We exposed 406 naïve, captive-raised alpine tree frogs (Litoria verreauxii alpina) from multiple populations (one evolutionarily naïve to chytridiomycosis) to the aetiological agent Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in two concurrent and controlled infection experiments. We investigated (A) survival outcomes and clinical pathogen burdens between populations and clutches, and (B) individual host tissue responses to chytridiomycosis. Here we present multiple interrelated datasets associated with these exposure experiments, including animal signalment, survival and pathogen burden of 355 animals from Experiment A, and the following datasets related to 61 animals from Experiment B: animal signalment and pathogen burden; raw RNA-Seq reads from skin, liver and spleen tissues; de novo assembled transcriptomes for each tissue type; raw gene expression data; annotation data for each gene; and raw metabolite expression data from skin and liver tissues. These data provide an extensive baseline for future analyses.

  11. Epizootic to enzootic transition of a fungal disease in tropical Andean frogs: Are surviving species still susceptible?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Catenazzi

    Full Text Available The fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, which causes the disease chytridiomycosis, has been linked to catastrophic amphibian declines throughout the world. Amphibians differ in their vulnerability to chytridiomycosis; some species experience epizootics followed by collapse while others exhibit stable host/pathogen dynamics where most amphibian hosts survive in the presence of Bd (e.g., in the enzootic state. Little is known about the factors that drive the transition between the two disease states within a community, or whether populations of species that survived the initial epizootic are stable, yet this information is essential for conservation and theory. Our study focuses on a diverse Peruvian amphibian community that experienced a Bd-caused collapse. We explore host/Bd dynamics of eight surviving species a decade after the mass extinction by using population level disease metrics and Bd-susceptibility trials. We found that three of the eight species continue to be susceptible to Bd, and that their populations are declining. Only one species is growing in numbers and it was non-susceptible in our trials. Our study suggests that some species remain vulnerable to Bd and exhibit ongoing population declines in enzootic systems where Bd-host dynamics are assumed to be stable.

  12. Four new species of terrestrial-breeding frogs of the genus Phrynopus (Anura: Terrarana: Craugastoridae) from Río Abiseo National Park, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Lily O; Catenazzi, Alessandro

    2017-06-06

    We describe four new species of terrestrial-breeding frogs belonging to the genus Phrynopus from specimens collected on the eastern slopes of the Cordillera Oriental (2800-3850 m) near and within Río Abiseo National Park, Provincia Mariscal Cáceres, Departments of San Martín and La Libertad, northeastern Peru. All four species lack a visible tympanum and inhabit the upper ridges and slopes within or adjacent to the Park. Phrynopus anancites sp. nov. and P. capitalis sp. nov. inhabit the wet montane grasslands on the upper ridges and valleys from 3600 to 3850 m. Phrynopus anancites (SVL = 25.3 mm) has coarsely aerolated skin and olive green coloration and has small vomerine teeth, while P. capitalis (female SVL = 35.6 mm) is characterized by a large head, short limbs, and distinctive dorsal pattern. Phrynopus dumicola sp. nov. (female SVL = 25.3 mm) has a short head and dark colored body with granular skin on the flanks, and is known only from forest patches along the treeline from 3225 to 3550 m, whereas P. personatus sp. nov. (female SVL = 28.2 mm) has a dark facemask and bright yellow groin spots (possibly aposematic), and inhabits a narrow band of continuous tropical montane rain forest from 2890 to 3110 m. We report infection with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis from one specimen of P. dumicola collected in July of 1988. With the addition of these four new species, Phrynopus now includes 32 nominal species.

  13. Lowland extirpation of anuran populations on a tropical mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aide, T. Mitchell

    2017-01-01

    Background Climate change and infectious diseases threaten animal and plant species, even in natural and protected areas. To cope with these changes, species may acclimate, adapt, move or decline. Here, we test for shifts in anuran distributions in the Luquillo Mountains (LM), a tropical montane forest in Puerto Rico by comparing species distributions from historical (1931–1989)and current data (2015/2016). Methods Historical data, which included different methodologies, were gathered through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and published literature, and the current data were collected using acoustic recorders along three elevational transects. Results In the recordings, we detected the 12 native frog species known to occur in LM. Over a span of ∼25 years, two species have become extinct and four species suffered extirpation in lowland areas. As a consequence, low elevation areas in the LM (indicate that (1) climate change has increased temperatures in Puerto Rico, and (2) Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) was found in 10 native species and early detection of Bd coincides with anurans declines in the LM. Our study confirms the general impressions of amphibian population extirpations at low elevations, and corroborates the levels of threat assigned by IUCN. PMID:29158987

  14. Using omics and integrated multi-omics approaches to guide probiotic selection to mitigate chytridiomycosis and other emerging infectious diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eria Alaide Rebollar

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Emerging infectious diseases in wildlife are responsible for massive population declines. In amphibians, chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd, has severely affected many amphibian populations and species around the world. One promising management strategy is probiotic bioaugmentation of antifungal bacteria on amphibian skin. In vivo experimental trials using bioaugmentation strategies have had mixed results, and therefore a more informed strategy is needed to select successful probiotic candidates. Metagenomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic methods, colloquially called omics, are approaches that can better inform probiotic selection and optimize selection protocols. The integration of multiple omic data using bioinformatic and statistical tools and in silico models that link bacterial community structure with bacterial defensive function can allow the identification of species involved in pathogen inhibition. We recommend using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and methods such as indicator species analysis, the K-S Measure, and co-occurrence networks to identify bacteria that are associated with pathogen resistance in field surveys and experimental trials. In addition to 16S amplicon sequencing, we recommend approaches that give insight into symbiont function such as shotgun metagenomics, metatranscriptomics or metabolomics to maximize the probability of finding effective probiotic candidates, which can then be isolated in culture and tested in persistence and clinical trials. An effective mitigation strategy to ameliorate chytridiomycosis and other emerging infectious diseases is necessary; the advancement of omic methods and the integration of multiple omic data provide a promising avenue toward conservation of imperiled species.

  15. Imperfect pathogen detection from non-invasive skin swabs biases disease inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiRenzo, Graziella V.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Longo, Ana; Che-Castaldo, Christian; Zamudio, Kelly R.; Lips, Karen

    2018-01-01

    1. Conservation managers rely on accurate estimates of disease parameters, such as pathogen prevalence and infection intensity, to assess disease status of a host population. However, these disease metrics may be biased if low-level infection intensities are missed by sampling methods or laboratory diagnostic tests. These false negatives underestimate pathogen prevalence and overestimate mean infection intensity of infected individuals. 2. Our objectives were two-fold. First, we quantified false negative error rates of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on non-invasive skin swabs collected from an amphibian community in El Copé, Panama. We swabbed amphibians twice in sequence, and we used a recently developed hierarchical Bayesian estimator to assess disease status of the population. Second, we developed a novel hierarchical Bayesian model to simultaneously account for imperfect pathogen detection from field sampling and laboratory diagnostic testing. We evaluated the performance of the model using simulations and varying sampling design to quantify the magnitude of bias in estimates of pathogen prevalence and infection intensity. 3. We show that Bd detection probability from skin swabs was related to host infection intensity, where Bd infections information in advance, we advocate that the most cautious approach is to assume all errors are possible and to accommodate them by adjusting sampling designs. The modeling framework presented here improves the accuracy in estimating pathogen prevalence and infection intensity.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Do pathogens become more virulent as they spread? Evidence from the amphibian declines in Central America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Ben L; Puschendorf, Robert

    2013-09-07

    The virulence of a pathogen can vary strongly through time. While cyclical variation in virulence is regularly observed, directional shifts in virulence are less commonly observed and are typically associated with decreasing virulence of biological control agents through coevolution. It is increasingly appreciated, however, that spatial effects can lead to evolutionary trajectories that differ from standard expectations. One such possibility is that, as a pathogen spreads through a naive host population, its virulence increases on the invasion front. In Central America, there is compelling evidence for the recent spread of pathogenic Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and for its strong impact on amphibian populations. Here, we re-examine data on Bd prevalence and amphibian population decline across 13 sites from southern Mexico through Central America, and show that, in the initial phases of the Bd invasion, amphibian population decline lagged approximately 9 years behind the arrival of the pathogen, but that this lag diminished markedly over time. In total, our analysis suggests an increase in Bd virulence as it spread southwards, a pattern consistent with rapid evolution of increased virulence on Bd's invading front. The impact of Bd on amphibians might therefore be driven by rapid evolution in addition to more proximate environmental drivers.

  19. 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.

  20. Interventions for reducing extinction risk in chytridiomycosis-threatened amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheele, Ben C; Hunter, David A; Grogan, Laura F; Berger, Lee; Kolby, Jon E; McFadden, Michael S; Marantelli, Gerry; Skerratt, Lee F; Driscoll, Don A

    2014-10-01

    Wildlife diseases pose an increasing threat to biodiversity and are a major management challenge. A striking example of this threat is the emergence of chytridiomycosis. Despite diagnosis of chytridiomycosis as an important driver of global amphibian declines 15 years ago, researchers have yet to devise effective large-scale management responses other than biosecurity measures to mitigate disease spread and the establishment of disease-free captive assurance colonies prior to or during disease outbreaks. We examined the development of management actions that can be implemented after an epidemic in surviving populations. We developed a conceptual framework with clear interventions to guide experimental management and applied research so that further extinctions of amphibian species threatened by chytridiomycosis might be prevented. Within our framework, there are 2 management approaches: reducing Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (the fungus that causes chytridiomycosis) in the environment or on amphibians and increasing the capacity of populations to persist despite increased mortality from disease. The latter approach emphasizes that mitigation does not necessarily need to focus on reducing disease-associated mortality. We propose promising management actions that can be implemented and tested based on current knowledge and that include habitat manipulation, antifungal treatments, animal translocation, bioaugmentation, head starting, and selection for resistance. Case studies where these strategies are being implemented will demonstrate their potential to save critically endangered species. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  1. Selecting for extinction: nonrandom disease-associated extinction homogenizes amphibian biotas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kevin G; Lips, Karen R; Chase, Jonathan M

    2009-10-01

    Studying the patterns in which local extinctions occur is critical to understanding how extinctions affect biodiversity at local, regional and global spatial scales. To understand the importance of patterns of extinction at a regional spatial scale, we use data from extirpations associated with a widespread pathogenic agent of amphibian decline, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) as a model system. We apply novel null model analyses to these data to determine whether recent extirpations associated with Bd have resulted in selective extinction and homogenization of diverse tropical American amphibian biotas. We find that Bd-associated extinctions in this region were nonrandom and disproportionately, but not exclusively, affected low-occupancy and endemic species, resulting in homogenization of the remnant amphibian fauna. The pattern of extirpations also resulted in phylogenetic homogenization at the family level and ecological homogenization of reproductive mode and habitat association. Additionally, many more species were extirpated from the region than would be expected if extirpations occurred randomly. Our results indicate that amphibian declines in this region are an extinction filter, reducing regional amphibian biodiversity to highly similar relict assemblages and ultimately causing amplified biodiversity loss at regional and global scales.

  2. Host-pathogen metapopulation dynamics suggest high elevation refugia for boreal toads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosher, Brittany A.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Muths, Erin L.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P

    2018-01-01

    Emerging infectious diseases are an increasingly common threat to wildlife. Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an emerging infectious disease that has been linked to amphibian declines around the world. Few studies exist that explore amphibian-Bd dynamics at the landscape scale, limiting our ability to identify which factors are associated with variation in population susceptibility and to develop effective in situdisease management. Declines of boreal toads (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) in the Southern Rocky Mountains are largely attributed to chytridiomycosis but variation exists in local extinction of boreal toads across this metapopulation. Using a large-scale historic dataset, we explored several potential factors influencing disease dynamics in the boreal toad-Bd system: geographic isolation of populations, amphibian community richness, elevational differences, and habitat permanence. We found evidence that boreal toad extinction risk was lowest at high elevations where temperatures may be sub-optimal for Bd growth and where small boreal toad populations may be below the threshold needed for efficient pathogen transmission. In addition, boreal toads were more likely to recolonize high elevation sites after local extinction, again suggesting that high elevations may provide refuge from disease for boreal toads. We illustrate a modeling framework that will be useful to natural resource managers striving to make decisions in amphibian-Bdsystems. Our data suggest that in the southern Rocky Mountains high elevation sites should be prioritized for conservation initiatives like reintroductions.

  3. Does physiological response to disease incur cost to reproductive ecology in a sexually dichromatic amphibian species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kindermann, Christina; Narayan, Edward J; Hero, Jean-Marc

    2017-01-01

    It is well known that the disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has contributed to amphibian declines worldwide. The impact of Bd varies, with some species being more susceptible to infection than others. Recent evidence has shown that Bd can have sub-lethal effects, whereby increases in stress hormones have been associated with infection. Could this increased stress response, which is a physiological adaptation that provides an increased resilience against Bd infection, potentially be a trade-off with important life-history traits such as reproduction? We studied this question in adult male frogs of a non-declining species (Litoria wilcoxii). Frogs were sampled for (1) seasonal hormone (testosterone and corticosterone), color and disease profiles, (2) the relationship between disease infection status and hormone levels or dorsal color, (3) subclinical effects of Bd by investigating disease load and hormone level, and (4) reproductive and stress hormone relationships independent of disease. Testosterone levels and color score varied seasonally (throughout the spring/summer months) while corticosterone levels remained stable. Frogs with high Bd prevalence had significantly higher corticosterone levels and lower testosterone levels compared to uninfected frogs, and no differences in color were observed. There was a significant positive correlation between disease load and corticosterone levels, and a significant negative relationship between disease load and testosterone. Our field data provides novel evidence that increased physiological stress response associated with Bd infection in wild frogs, could suppress reproduction by down-regulating gonadal hormones in amphibians, however the impacts on reproductive output is yet to be established. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. 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

  5. Historical amphibian declines and extinctions in Brazil linked to chytridiomycosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Tamilie; Becker, C Guilherme; Toledo, Luís Felipe

    2017-02-08

    The recent increase in emerging fungal diseases is causing unprecedented threats to biodiversity. The origin of spread of the frog-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ) is a matter of continued debate. To date, the historical amphibian declines in Brazil could not be attributed to chytridiomycosis; the high diversity of hosts coupled with the presence of several Bd lineages predating the reported declines raised the hypothesis that a hypervirulent Bd genotype spread from Brazil to other continents causing the recent global amphibian crisis. We tested for a spatio-temporal overlap between Bd and areas of historical amphibian population declines and extinctions in Brazil. A spatio-temporal convergence between Bd and declines would support the hypothesis that Brazilian amphibians were not adapted to Bd prior to the reported declines, thus weakening the hypothesis that Brazil was the global origin of Bd emergence. Alternatively, a lack of spatio-temporal association between Bd and frog declines would indicate an evolution of host resistance in Brazilian frogs predating Bd 's global emergence , further supporting Brazil as the potential origin of the Bd panzootic. Here, we Bd -screened over 30 000 museum-preserved tadpoles collected in Brazil between 1930 and 2015 and overlaid spatio-temporal Bd data with areas of historical amphibian declines. We detected an increase in the proportion of Bd -infected tadpoles during the peak of amphibian declines (1979-1987). We also found that clusters of Bd -positive samples spatio-temporally overlapped with most records of amphibian declines in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Our findings indicate that Brazil is post epizootic for chytridiomycosis and provide another piece to the puzzle to explain the origin of Bd globally. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. Fight Fungi with Fungi: Antifungal Properties of the Amphibian Mycobiome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick J. Kearns

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Emerging infectious diseases caused by fungal taxa are increasing and are placing a substantial burden on economies and ecosystems worldwide. Of the emerging fungal diseases, chytridomycosis caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (hereafter Bd is linked to global amphibian declines. Amphibians have innate immunity, as well as additional resistance through cutaneous microbial communities. Despite the targeting of bacteria as potential probiotics, the role of fungi in the protection against Bd infection in unknown. We used a four-part approach, including high-throughput sequencing of bacterial and fungal communities, cultivation of fungi, Bd challenge assays, and experimental additions of probiotic to Midwife Toads (Altyes obstetricans, to examine the overlapping roles of bacterial and fungal microbiota in pathogen defense in captive bred poison arrow frogs (Dendrobates sp.. Our results revealed that cutaneous fungal taxa differed from environmental microbiota across three species and a subspecies of Dendrobates spp. frogs. Cultivation of host-associated and environmental fungi realved numerous taxa with the ability to inhibit or facilitate the growth of Bd. The abundance of cutaneous fungi contributed more to Bd defense (~45% of the fungal community, than did bacteria (~10% and frog species harbored distinct inhibitory communities that were distinct from the environment. Further, we demonstrated that a fungal probiotic therapy did not induce an endocrine-immune reaction, in contrast to bacterial probiotics that stressed amphibian hosts and suppressed antimicrobial peptide responses, limiting their long-term colonization potential. Our results suggest that probiotic strategies against amphibian fungal pathogens should, in addition to bacterial probiotics, focus on host-associated and environmental fungi such as Penicillium and members of the families Chaetomiaceae and Lasiosphaeriaceae.

  7. Climate forcing of an emerging pathogenic fungus across a montane multi-host community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clare, Frances C; Halder, Julia B; Daniel, Olivia; Bielby, Jon; Semenov, Mikhail A; Jombart, Thibaut; Loyau, Adeline; Schmeller, Dirk S; Cunningham, Andrew A; Rowcliffe, Marcus; Garner, Trenton W J; Bosch, Jaime; Fisher, Matthew C

    2016-12-05

    Changes in the timings of seasonality as a result of anthropogenic climate change are predicted to occur over the coming decades. While this is expected to have widespread impacts on the dynamics of infectious disease through environmental forcing, empirical data are lacking. Here, we investigated whether seasonality, specifically the timing of spring ice-thaw, affected susceptibility to infection by the emerging pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) across a montane community of amphibians that are suffering declines and extirpations as a consequence of this infection. We found a robust temporal association between the timing of the spring thaw and Bd infection in two host species, where we show that an early onset of spring forced high prevalences of infection. A third highly susceptible species (the midwife toad, Alytes obstetricans) maintained a high prevalence of infection independent of time of spring thaw. Our data show that perennially overwintering midwife toad larvae may act as a year-round reservoir of infection with variation in time of spring thaw determining the extent to which infection spills over into sympatric species. We used future temperature projections based on global climate models to demonstrate that the timing of spring thaw in this region will advance markedly by the 2050s, indicating that climate change will further force the severity of infection. Our findings on the effect of annual variability on multi-host infection dynamics show that the community-level impact of fungal infectious disease on biodiversity will need to be re-evaluated in the face of climate change.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience'. © 2016 The Authors.

  8. Dramatic Declines of Montane Frogs in a Central African Biodiversity Hotspot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirschfeld, Mareike; Blackburn, David C.; Doherty-Bone, Thomas M.; Gonwouo, LeGrand Nono; Ghose, Sonia; Rödel, Mark-Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Amphibian populations are vanishing worldwide. Declines and extinctions of many populations have been attributed to chytridiomycosis, a disease induced by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). In Africa, however, changes in amphibian assemblages were typically attributed to habitat change. We conducted a retrospective study utilizing field surveys from 2004–2012 of the anuran faunas on two mountains in western Cameroon, a hotspot of African amphibian diversity. The number of species detected was negatively influenced by year, habitat degradation, and elevation, and we detected a decline of certain species. Because another study in this region revealed an emergence of Bd in 2008, we screened additional recent field-collected samples and also pre-decline preserved museum specimens for the presence of Bd supporting emergence before 2008. When comparing the years before and after Bd detection, we found significantly diminished frog species richness and abundance on both mountains after Bd emergence. Our analyses suggest that this may be the first disease-driven community-level decline in anuran biodiversity in Central Africa. The disappearance of several species known to tolerate habitat degradation, and a trend of stronger declines at higher elevations, are consistent with Bd-induced declines in other regions. Not all species decreased; populations of some species remained constant, and others increased after the emergence of Bd. This variation might be explained by species-specific differences in infection probability. Increased habitat protection and Bd-mitigation strategies are needed for sustaining diverse amphibian communities such as those on Mt. Manengouba, which contains nearly half of Cameroon’s frog diversity. PMID:27149624

  9. Has the time come for big science in wildlife health?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleeman, Jonathan M.

    2013-01-01

    The consequences of wildlife emerging diseases are global and profound with increased burden on the public health system, negative impacts on the global economy, declines and extinctions of wildlife species, and subsequent loss of ecological integrity. Examples of health threats to wildlife include Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which causes a cutaneous fungal infection of amphibians and is linked to declines of amphibians globally; and the recently discovered Pseudogymnoascus (Geomyces) destructans, the etiologic agent of white nose syndrome which has caused precipitous declines of North American bat species. Of particular concern are the novel pathogens that have emerged as they are particularly devastating and challenging to manage. A big science approach to wildlife health research is needed if we are to make significant and enduring progress in managing these diseases. The advent of new analytical models and bench assays will provide us with the mathematical and molecular tools to identify and anticipate threats to wildlife, and understand the ecology and epidemiology of these diseases. Specifically, new molecular diagnostic techniques have opened up avenues for pathogen discovery, and the application of spatially referenced databases allows for risk assessments that can assist in targeting surveillance. Long-term, systematic collection of data for wildlife health and integration with other datasets is also essential. Multidisciplinary research programs should be expanded to increase our understanding of the drivers of emerging diseases and allow for the development of better disease prevention and management tools, such as vaccines. Finally, we need to create a National Fish and Wildlife Health Network that provides the operational framework (governance, policies, procedures, etc.) by which entities with a stake in wildlife health cooperate and collaborate to achieve optimal outcomes for human, animal, and ecosystem health.

  10. Rapid extirpation of a North American frog coincides with an increase in fungal pathogen prevalence: Historical analysis and implications for reintroduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Andrea J; Pessier, Allan P; Briggs, Cheryl J

    2017-12-01

    As extinctions continue across the globe, conservation biologists are turning to species reintroduction programs as one optimistic tool for addressing the biodiversity crisis. For repatriation to become a viable strategy, fundamental prerequisites include determining the causes of declines and assessing whether the causes persist in the environment. Invasive species-especially pathogens-are an increasingly significant factor contributing to biodiversity loss. We hypothesized that Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the causative agent of the deadly amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, was important in the rapid (herpetological experts, analysis of archived field notes and museum specimen collections, and field sampling of the extant amphibian assemblage to examine (1) historical relative abundance of R. boylii ; (2) potential causes of R. boylii declines; and (3) historical and contemporary prevalence of Bd. We found that R. boylii were relatively abundant prior to their rapid extirpation, and an increase in Bd prevalence coincided with R. boylii declines during a time of rapid change in the region, wherein backcountry recreation, urban development, and the amphibian pet trade were all on the rise. In addition, extreme flooding during the winter of 1969 coincided with localized extirpations in R. boylii populations observed by interview respondents. We conclude that Bd likely played an important role in the rapid extirpation of R. boylii from southern California and that multiple natural and anthropogenic factors may have worked in concert to make this possible in a relatively short period of time. This study emphasizes the importance of recognizing historical ecological contexts in making future management and reintroduction decisions.

  11. Book review: Fowler's zoo and wild animal medicine (volume 8)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleeman, Jonathan M.

    2014-01-01

    In the eighth volume of Fowler's Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine, the editors have returned to the original, comprehensive, taxa-based format last used in the fifth volume that was released in 2003. The book consists of 82 chapters, divided into taxonomic classes that include amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, and a general topics section. The editors deliberately selected new senior authors who are expert veterinary advisors for the various taxa. This international assemblage of authors is impressive, although the book would have benefited from a greater diversity of disciplinary expertise. Synthesis of the large and expanding body of knowledge about zoo and wild animal medicine is a Sisyphean task, but one that the editors have accomplished well. The chapters were well written and are beautifully illustrated with high-quality images and generally well referenced. Much of the information is summarized in tabular format, which I found both a blessing and a curse. Tabulation of hematologic variables and anesthetic doses is helpful; however, tabulation of information regarding infectious and parasitic diseases results in a loss of detail. For example, methods of diagnosis for some diseases are omitted from some tables. The need for succinctness results in trade-offs, and statements such as “Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis … is one of the most well described pathogens of anurans” with no further information leaves readers unsated. In addition, the book does not have any chapters on fish or invertebrates, which are notable omissions given the importance of these species. Those quibbles aside, this is a must-have book for all zoo and wild animal medicine students and practitioners. However, perhaps it is time to recognize that, during the 36 years since the first volume was published, this discipline has become too large to be contained in 1 book. This is largely because of the success of this book series, and it is a nice problem to have.

  12. Interactions between amphibians’ symbiotic bacteria cause the production of emergent anti-fungal metabolites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Howard Loudon

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available 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

  13. Reservoir-host amplification of disease impact in an endangered amphibian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheele, Ben C; Hunter, David A; Brannelly, Laura A; Skerratt, Lee F; Driscoll, Don A

    2017-06-01

    Emerging wildlife pathogens are an increasing threat to biodiversity. One of the most serious wildlife diseases is chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has been documented in over 500 amphibian species. Amphibians vary greatly in their susceptibility to Bd; some species tolerate infection, whereas others experience rapid mortality. Reservoir hosts-species that carry infection while maintaining high abundance but are rarely killed by disease-can increase extinction risk in highly susceptible, sympatric species. However, whether reservoir hosts amplify Bd in declining amphibian species has not been examined. We investigated the role of reservoir hosts in the decline of the threatened northern corroboree frog (Pseudophryne pengilleyi) in an amphibian community in southeastern Australia. In the laboratory, we characterized the response of a potential reservoir host, the (nondeclining) common eastern froglet (Crinia signifera), to Bd infection. In the field, we conducted frog abundance surveys and Bd sampling for both P. pengilleyi and C. signifera. We built multinomial logistic regression models to test whether Crinia signifera and environmental factors were associated with P. pengilleyi decline. C. signifera was a reservoir host for Bd. In the laboratory, many individuals maintained intense infections (>1000 zoospore equivalents) over 12 weeks without mortality, and 79% of individuals sampled in the wild also carried infections. The presence of C. signifera at a site was strongly associated with increased Bd prevalence in sympatric P. pengilleyi. Consistent with disease amplification by a reservoir host, P. pengilleyi declined at sites with high C. signifera abundance. Our results suggest that when reservoir hosts are present, population declines of susceptible species may continue long after the initial emergence of Bd, highlighting an urgent need to assess extinction risk in remnant populations of other declined

  14. 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

  15. Lowland extirpation of anuran populations on a tropical mountain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marconi Campos-Cerqueira

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background Climate change and infectious diseases threaten animal and plant species, even in natural and protected areas. To cope with these changes, species may acclimate, adapt, move or decline. Here, we test for shifts in anuran distributions in the Luquillo Mountains (LM, a tropical montane forest in Puerto Rico by comparing species distributions from historical (1931–1989and current data (2015/2016. Methods Historical data, which included different methodologies, were gathered through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF and published literature, and the current data were collected using acoustic recorders along three elevational transects. Results In the recordings, we detected the 12 native frog species known to occur in LM. Over a span of ∼25 years, two species have become extinct and four species suffered extirpation in lowland areas. As a consequence, low elevation areas in the LM (<300 m have lost at least six anuran species. Discussion We hypothesize that these extirpations are due to the effects of climate change and infectious diseases, which are restricting many species to higher elevations and a much smaller area. Land use change is not responsible for these changes because LM has been a protected reserve for the past 80 years. However, previous studies indicate that (1 climate change has increased temperatures in Puerto Rico, and (2 Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd was found in 10 native species and early detection of Bd coincides with anurans declines in the LM. Our study confirms the general impressions of amphibian population extirpations at low elevations, and corroborates the levels of threat assigned by IUCN.

  16. Dramatic Declines of Montane Frogs in a Central African Biodiversity Hotspot.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mareike Hirschfeld

    Full Text Available Amphibian populations are vanishing worldwide. Declines and extinctions of many populations have been attributed to chytridiomycosis, a disease induced by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. In Africa, however, changes in amphibian assemblages were typically attributed to habitat change. We conducted a retrospective study utilizing field surveys from 2004-2012 of the anuran faunas on two mountains in western Cameroon, a hotspot of African amphibian diversity. The number of species detected was negatively influenced by year, habitat degradation, and elevation, and we detected a decline of certain species. Because another study in this region revealed an emergence of Bd in 2008, we screened additional recent field-collected samples and also pre-decline preserved museum specimens for the presence of Bd supporting emergence before 2008. When comparing the years before and after Bd detection, we found significantly diminished frog species richness and abundance on both mountains after Bd emergence. Our analyses suggest that this may be the first disease-driven community-level decline in anuran biodiversity in Central Africa. The disappearance of several species known to tolerate habitat degradation, and a trend of stronger declines at higher elevations, are consistent with Bd-induced declines in other regions. Not all species decreased; populations of some species remained constant, and others increased after the emergence of Bd. This variation might be explained by species-specific differences in infection probability. Increased habitat protection and Bd-mitigation strategies are needed for sustaining diverse amphibian communities such as those on Mt. Manengouba, which contains nearly half of Cameroon's frog diversity.

  17. Historical amphibian declines and extinctions in Brazil linked to chytridiomycosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Tamilie; Becker, C. Guilherme

    2017-01-01

    The recent increase in emerging fungal diseases is causing unprecedented threats to biodiversity. The origin of spread of the frog-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a matter of continued debate. To date, the historical amphibian declines in Brazil could not be attributed to chytridiomycosis; the high diversity of hosts coupled with the presence of several Bd lineages predating the reported declines raised the hypothesis that a hypervirulent Bd genotype spread from Brazil to other continents causing the recent global amphibian crisis. We tested for a spatio-temporal overlap between Bd and areas of historical amphibian population declines and extinctions in Brazil. A spatio-temporal convergence between Bd and declines would support the hypothesis that Brazilian amphibians were not adapted to Bd prior to the reported declines, thus weakening the hypothesis that Brazil was the global origin of Bd emergence. Alternatively, a lack of spatio-temporal association between Bd and frog declines would indicate an evolution of host resistance in Brazilian frogs predating Bd's global emergence, further supporting Brazil as the potential origin of the Bd panzootic. Here, we Bd-screened over 30 000 museum-preserved tadpoles collected in Brazil between 1930 and 2015 and overlaid spatio-temporal Bd data with areas of historical amphibian declines. We detected an increase in the proportion of Bd-infected tadpoles during the peak of amphibian declines (1979–1987). We also found that clusters of Bd-positive samples spatio-temporally overlapped with most records of amphibian declines in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Our findings indicate that Brazil is post epizootic for chytridiomycosis and provide another piece to the puzzle to explain the origin of Bd globally. PMID:28179514

  18. Is chytridiomycosis driving Darwin's frogs to extinction?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio Soto-Azat

    Full Text Available Darwin's frogs (Rhinoderma darwinii and R. rufum are two species of mouth brooding frogs from Chile and Argentina that have experienced marked population declines. Rhinoderma rufum has not been found in the wild since 1980. We investigated historical and current evidence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd infection in Rhinoderma spp. to determine whether chytridiomycosis is implicated in the population declines of these species. Archived and live specimens of Rhinoderma spp., sympatric amphibians and amphibians at sites where Rhinoderma sp. had recently gone extinct were examined for Bd infection using quantitative real-time PCR. Six (0.9% of 662 archived anurans tested positive for Bd (4/289 R. darwinii; 1/266 R. rufum and 1/107 other anurans, all of which had been collected between 1970 and 1978. An overall Bd-infection prevalence of 12.5% was obtained from 797 swabs taken from 369 extant individuals of R. darwinii and 428 individuals representing 18 other species of anurans found at sites with current and recent presence of the two Rhinoderma species. In extant R. darwinii, Bd-infection prevalence (1.9% was significantly lower than that found in other anurans (7.3%. The prevalence of infection (30% in other amphibian species was significantly higher in sites where either Rhinoderma spp. had become extinct or was experiencing severe population declines than in sites where there had been no apparent decline (3.0%; x(2 = 106.407, P<0.001. This is the first report of widespread Bd presence in Chile and our results are consistent with Rhinoderma spp. declines being due to Bd infection, although additional field and laboratory investigations are required to investigate this further.

  19. Potential concerns with analytical Methods Used for the detection of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans from archived DNA of amphibian swab samples, Oregon, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwanowicz, Deborah; Olson, Deanna H.; Adams, Michael J.; Adams, Cynthia; Anderson, Chauncey; Blaustein, Andrew R; Densmore, Christine L.; Figiel, Chester; Schill, William B.; Chestnut, Tara

    2017-01-01

    Taxonomic identification of pollen has historically been accomplished via light microscopy but requires specialized knowledge and reference collections, particularly when identification to lower taxonomic levels is necessary. Recently, next-generation sequencing technology has been used as a cost-effective alternative for identifying bee-collected pollen; however, this novel approach has not been tested on a spatially or temporally robust number of pollen samples. Here, we compare pollen identification results derived from light microscopy and DNA sequencing techniques with samples collected from honey bee colonies embedded within a gradient of intensive agricultural landscapes in the Northern Great Plains throughout the 2010–2011 growing seasons. We demonstrate that at all taxonomic levels, DNA sequencing was able to discern a greater number of taxa, and was particularly useful for the identification of infrequently detected species. Importantly, substantial phenological overlap did occur for commonly detected taxa using either technique, suggesting that DNA sequencing is an appropriate, and enhancing, substitutive technique for accurately capturing the breadth of bee-collected species of pollen present across agricultural landscapes. We also show that honey bees located in high and low intensity agricultural settings forage on dissimilar plants, though with overlap of the most abundantly collected pollen taxa. We highlight practical applications of utilizing sequencing technology, including addressing ecological issues surrounding land use, climate change, importance of taxa relative to abundance, and evaluating the impact of conservation program habitat enhancement efforts.

  20. Reconstructing the early evolution of the fungi using a six gene phylogeny

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    James, T.Y.; Kauff, F.; Schoch, C.L.; Matheny, P.B.; Hofstetter, V.; Cox, C.J.; Celio, G.; Gueidan, C.; Fraker, E.; Miadlikowska, J.; Lumbsch, H.T.; Rauhut, A.; Reeb, V.; Arnold, A.E.; Amtoft, A.; Stajich, J.E.; Hosaka, K.; Sung, G.H.; Johnson, D.; O'Rourke, B.; Binder, M.; Curtis, J.M.; Slot, J.C.; Wang, Z.; Wilson, A.W.; Schüßler, A.; Longcore, J.E.; O'Donnell, K.; Mozley-Standridge, S.; Porter, D.; Letcher, P.M.; Powell, M.J.; Taylor, J.W.; White, M.M.; Griffith, G.W.; Davies, D.R.; Sugiyama, J.; Rossman, A.Y.; Rogers, J.D.; Pfister, D.H.; Hewitt, D.; Hansen, K.; Hambleton, S.; Shoemaker, R.A.; Kohlmeyer, J.; Volkmann-Kohlmeyer, B.; Spotts, R.A.; Serdani, M.; Crous, P.W.; Hughes, K.W.; Matsuura, K.; Langer, E.; Langer, G.; Untereiner, W.A.; Lücking, R.; Büdel, B.; Geiser, D.M.; Aptroot, A.; Diederich, P.; Schmitt, I.; Schultz, M.; Yahr, R.; Hibbett, D.S.; Lutzoni, F.; McLaughlin, D.J.; Spatafora, J.W.; Vilgalys, R.

    2006-01-01

    The ancestors of fungi are believed to be simple aquatic forms with flagellated spores, similar to members of the extant phylum Chytridiomycota (chytrids). Current classifications assume that chytrids form an early-diverging clade within the kingdom Fungi and imply a single loss of the spore

  1. Estimating Herd Immunity to Amphibian Chytridiomycosis in Madagascar Based on the Defensive Function of Amphibian Skin Bacteria

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    Molly C. Bletz

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available For decades, Amphibians have been globally threatened by the still expanding infectious disease, chytridiomycosis. Madagascar is an amphibian biodiversity hotspot where Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd has only recently been detected. While no Bd-associated population declines have been reported, the risk of declines is high when invasive virulent lineages become involved. Cutaneous bacteria contribute to host innate immunity by providing defense against pathogens for numerous animals, including amphibians. Little is known, however, about the cutaneous bacterial residents of Malagasy amphibians and the functional capacity they have against Bd. We cultured 3179 skin bacterial isolates from over 90 frog species across Madagascar, identified them via Sanger sequencing of approximately 700 bp of the 16S rRNA gene, and characterized their functional capacity against Bd. A subset of isolates was also tested against multiple Bd genotypes. In addition, we applied the concept of herd immunity to estimate Bd-associated risk for amphibian communities across Madagascar based on bacterial antifungal activity. We found that multiple bacterial isolates (39% of all isolates cultured from the skin of Malagasy frogs were able to inhibit Bd. Mean inhibition was weakly correlated with bacterial phylogeny, and certain taxonomic groups appear to have a high proportion of inhibitory isolates, such as the Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Xanthamonadaceae (84, 80, and 75% respectively. Functional capacity of bacteria against Bd varied among Bd genotypes; however, there were some bacteria that showed broad spectrum inhibition against all tested Bd genotypes, suggesting that these bacteria would be good candidates for probiotic therapies. We estimated Bd-associated risk for sampled amphibian communities based on the concept of herd immunity. Multiple amphibian communities, including those in the amphibian diversity hotspots, Andasibe and Ranomafana, were

  2. Estimating Herd Immunity to Amphibian Chytridiomycosis in Madagascar Based on the Defensive Function of Amphibian Skin Bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletz, Molly C; Myers, Jillian; Woodhams, Douglas C; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C E; Rakotonirina, Angela; Weldon, Che; Edmonds, Devin; Vences, Miguel; Harris, Reid N

    2017-01-01

    For decades, Amphibians have been globally threatened by the still expanding infectious disease, chytridiomycosis. Madagascar is an amphibian biodiversity hotspot where Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ) has only recently been detected. While no Bd -associated population declines have been reported, the risk of declines is high when invasive virulent lineages become involved. Cutaneous bacteria contribute to host innate immunity by providing defense against pathogens for numerous animals, including amphibians. Little is known, however, about the cutaneous bacterial residents of Malagasy amphibians and the functional capacity they have against Bd . We cultured 3179 skin bacterial isolates from over 90 frog species across Madagascar, identified them via Sanger sequencing of approximately 700 bp of the 16S rRNA gene, and characterized their functional capacity against Bd . A subset of isolates was also tested against multiple Bd genotypes. In addition, we applied the concept of herd immunity to estimate Bd -associated risk for amphibian communities across Madagascar based on bacterial antifungal activity. We found that multiple bacterial isolates (39% of all isolates) cultured from the skin of Malagasy frogs were able to inhibit Bd . Mean inhibition was weakly correlated with bacterial phylogeny, and certain taxonomic groups appear to have a high proportion of inhibitory isolates, such as the Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Xanthamonadaceae (84, 80, and 75% respectively). Functional capacity of bacteria against Bd varied among Bd genotypes; however, there were some bacteria that showed broad spectrum inhibition against all tested Bd genotypes, suggesting that these bacteria would be good candidates for probiotic therapies. We estimated Bd -associated risk for sampled amphibian communities based on the concept of herd immunity. Multiple amphibian communities, including those in the amphibian diversity hotspots, Andasibe and Ranomafana, were estimated to be

  3. Temperature-Dependent Effects of Cutaneous Bacteria on a Frog’s Tolerance of Fungal Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J. Robak

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Defense against pathogens is one of many benefits that bacteria provide to animal hosts. A clearer understanding of how changes in the environment affect the interactions between animals and their microbial benefactors is needed in order to predict the impact and dynamics of emerging animal diseases. Due to its dramatic effects on the physiology of animals and their pathogens, temperature may be a key variable modulating the level of protection that beneficial bacteria provide to their animal hosts. Here we investigate how temperature and the makeup of the skin microbial community affect the susceptibility of amphibian hosts to infection by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, one of two fungal pathogens known to cause the disease chytridiomycosis. To do this, we manipulated the skin bacterial communities of susceptible hosts, northern cricket frogs (Acris crepitans, prior to exposing these animals to Bd under two different ecologically relevant temperatures. Our manipulations included one treatment where antibiotics were used to reduce the skin bacterial community, one where the bacterial community was augmented with the antifungal bacterium, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, and one in which the frog’s skin bacterial community was left intact. We predicted that frogs with reduced skin bacterial communities would be more susceptible (i.e., less resistant to and/or tolerant of Bd infection, and frogs with skin bacterial communities augmented with the known antifungal bacterium would be less susceptible to Bd infection and chytridiomycosis. However, we also predicted that this interaction would be temperature dependent. We found a strong effect of temperature but not of skin microbial treatment on the probability and intensity of infection in Bd-exposed frogs. Whether temperature affected survival; however, it differed among our skin microbial treatment groups, with animals having more S. maltophilia on their skin surviving longer at 14 but not at

  4. Effects of host species and environment on the skin microbiome of Plethodontid salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muletz-Wolz, Carly R.; Yarwood, Stephanie A.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Fleischer, Robert C.; Lips, Karen R.

    2018-01-01

    The amphibian skin microbiome is recognized for its role in defence against pathogens, including the deadly fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Yet, we have little understanding of evolutionary and ecological processes that structure these communities, especially for salamanders and closely related species. We investigated patterns in the distribution of bacterial communities on Plethodon salamander skin across host species and environments.Quantifying salamander skin microbiome structure contributes to our understanding of how host-associated bacteria are distributed across the landscape, among host species, and their putative relationship with disease.We characterized skin microbiome structure (alpha-diversity, beta-diversity and bacterial operational taxonomic unit [OTU] abundances) using 16S rRNA gene sequencing for co-occurring Plethodon salamander species (35 Plethodon cinereus, 17 Plethodon glutinosus, 10 Plethodon cylindraceus) at three localities to differentiate the effects of host species from environmental factors on the microbiome. We sampled the microbiome of P. cinereus along an elevational gradient (n = 50, 700–1,000 m a.s.l.) at one locality to determine whether elevation predicts microbiome structure. Finally, we quantified prevalence and abundance of putatively anti-Bd bacteria to determine if Bd-inhibitory bacteria are dominant microbiome members.Co-occurring salamanders had similar microbiome structure, but among sites salamanders had dissimilar microbiome structure for beta-diversity and abundance of 28 bacterial OTUs. We found that alpha-diversity increased with elevation, beta-diversity and the abundance of 17 bacterial OTUs changed with elevation (16 OTUs decreasing, 1 OTU increasing). We detected 11 putatively anti-Bd bacterial OTUs that were present on 90% of salamanders and made up an average relative abundance of 83% (SD ± 8.5) per salamander. All salamanders tested negative for Bd.We conclude that

  5. Widespread Elevational Occurrence of Antifungal Bacteria in Andean Amphibians Decimated by Disease: A Complex Role for Skin Symbionts in Defense Against Chytridiomycosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catenazzi, Alessandro; Flechas, Sandra V; Burkart, David; Hooven, Nathan D; Townsend, Joseph; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2018-01-01

    Emerging infectious disease is a growing threat to global health, and recent discoveries reveal that the microbiota dwelling on and within hosts can play an important role in health and disease. To understand the capacity of skin bacteria to protect amphibian hosts from the fungal disease chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), we isolated 192 bacterial morphotypes from the skin of 28 host species of frogs (families Bufonidae, Centrolenidae, Hemiphractidae, Hylidae, Leptodactylidae, Strabomantidae, and Telmatobiidae) collected from the eastern slopes of the Peruvian Andes (540-3,865 m a.s.l.) in the Kosñipata Valley near Manu National Park, a site where we previously documented the collapse of montane frog communities following chytridiomycosis epizootics. We obtained isolates through agar culture from skin swabs of wild frogs, and identified bacterial isolates by comparing 16S rRNA sequences against the GenBank database using BLAST. We identified 178 bacterial strains of 38 genera, including 59 bacterial species not previously reported from any amphibian host. The most common bacterial isolates were species of Pseudomonas, Paenibacillus, Chryseobacterium, Comamonas, Sphingobacterium , and Stenotrophomonas . We assayed the anti-fungal abilities of 133 bacterial isolates from 26 frog species. To test whether cutaneous bacteria might inhibit growth of the fungal pathogen, we used a local Bd strain isolated from the mouthparts of stream-dwelling tadpoles ( Hypsiboas gladiator , Hylidae). We quantified Bd-inhibition in vitro with co-culture assays. We found 20 bacterial isolates that inhibited Bd growth, including three isolates not previously known for such inhibitory abilities. Anti-Bd isolates occurred on aquatic and terrestrial breeding frogs across a wide range of elevations (560-3,695 m a.s.l.). The inhibitory ability of anti-Bd isolates varied considerably. The proportion of anti-Bd isolates was lowest at mid-elevations (6%), where

  6. Culture Media and Individual Hosts Affect the Recovery of Culturable Bacterial Diversity from Amphibian Skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Daniel; Walke, Jenifer B; Gajewski, Zachary; Becker, Matthew H; Swartwout, Meredith C; Belden, Lisa K

    2017-01-01

    One current challenge in microbial ecology is elucidating the functional roles of the large diversity of free-living and host-associated bacteria identified by culture-independent molecular methods. Importantly, the characterization of this immense bacterial diversity will likely require merging data from culture-independent approaches with work on bacterial isolates in culture. Amphibian skin bacterial communities have become a recent focus of work in host-associated microbial systems due to the potential role of these skin bacteria in host defense against the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which is associated with global amphibian population declines and extinctions. As there is evidence that some skin bacteria may inhibit growth of Bd and prevent infection in some cases, there is interest in using these bacteria as probiotic therapy for conservation of at-risk amphibians. In this study, we used skin swabs from American toads ( Anaxyrus americanus ) to: (1) assess the diversity and community structure of culturable amphibian skin bacteria grown on high and low nutrient culture media, (2) determine which culture media recover the highest proportion of the total skin bacterial community of individual toads relative to culture-independent data, and (3) assess whether the plated communities from the distinct media types vary in their ability to inhibit Bd growth in in-vitro assays. Overall, we found that culture media with low nutrient concentrations facilitated the growth of more diverse bacterial taxa and grew distinct communities relative to media with higher nutrient concentrations. Use of low nutrient media also resulted in culturing proportionally more of the bacterial diversity on individual toads relative to the overall community defined using culture-independent methods. However, while there were differences in diversity among media types, the variation among individual hosts was greater than variation among media types, suggesting

  7. Widespread Elevational Occurrence of Antifungal Bacteria in Andean Amphibians Decimated by Disease: A Complex Role for Skin Symbionts in Defense Against Chytridiomycosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Catenazzi

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Emerging infectious disease is a growing threat to global health, and recent discoveries reveal that the microbiota dwelling on and within hosts can play an important role in health and disease. To understand the capacity of skin bacteria to protect amphibian hosts from the fungal disease chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, we isolated 192 bacterial morphotypes from the skin of 28 host species of frogs (families Bufonidae, Centrolenidae, Hemiphractidae, Hylidae, Leptodactylidae, Strabomantidae, and Telmatobiidae collected from the eastern slopes of the Peruvian Andes (540–3,865 m a.s.l. in the Kosñipata Valley near Manu National Park, a site where we previously documented the collapse of montane frog communities following chytridiomycosis epizootics. We obtained isolates through agar culture from skin swabs of wild frogs, and identified bacterial isolates by comparing 16S rRNA sequences against the GenBank database using BLAST. We identified 178 bacterial strains of 38 genera, including 59 bacterial species not previously reported from any amphibian host. The most common bacterial isolates were species of Pseudomonas, Paenibacillus, Chryseobacterium, Comamonas, Sphingobacterium, and Stenotrophomonas. We assayed the anti-fungal abilities of 133 bacterial isolates from 26 frog species. To test whether cutaneous bacteria might inhibit growth of the fungal pathogen, we used a local Bd strain isolated from the mouthparts of stream-dwelling tadpoles (Hypsiboas gladiator, Hylidae. We quantified Bd-inhibition in vitro with co-culture assays. We found 20 bacterial isolates that inhibited Bd growth, including three isolates not previously known for such inhibitory abilities. Anti-Bd isolates occurred on aquatic and terrestrial breeding frogs across a wide range of elevations (560–3,695 m a.s.l.. The inhibitory ability of anti-Bd isolates varied considerably. The proportion of anti-Bd isolates was lowest at mid-elevations (6

  8. Occurrence of pesticides in water and sediment collected from amphibian habitats located throughout the United States, 2009-10

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smalling, Kelly L.; Orlando, James L.; Calhoun, Daniel; Battaglin, William A.; Kuivila, Kathryn

    2012-01-01

    Water and bed-sediment samples were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2009 and 2010 from 11 sites within California and 18 sites total in Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, and Oregon, and were analyzed for a suite of pesticides by the USGS. Water samples and bed-sediment samples were collected from perennial or seasonal ponds located in amphibian habitats in conjunction with research conducted by the USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative and the USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology Program. Sites selected for this study in three of the states (California, Colorado, and Orgeon) have no direct pesticide application and are considered undeveloped and remote. Sites selected in Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, and Maine were in close proximity to either agricultural or suburban areas. Water and sediment samples were collected once in 2009 during amphibian breeding seasons. In 2010, water samples were collected twice. The first sampling event coincided with the beginning of the frog breeding season for the species of interest, and the second event occurred 10-12 weeks later when pesticides were being applied to the surrounding areas. Additionally, water was collected during each sampling event to measure dissolved organic carbon, nutrients, and the fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which has been linked to amphibian declines worldwide. Bed-sediment samples were collected once during the beginning of the frog breeding season, when the amphibians are thought to be most at risk to pesticides. Results of this study are reported for the following two geographic scales: (1) for a national scale, by using data from the 29 sites that were sampled from seven states, and (2) for California, by using data from the 11 sampled sites in that state. Water samples were analyzed for 96 pesticides by using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. A total of 24 pesticides were detected in one or more of the 54 water samples, including 7 fungicides, 10

  9. Occurrence and distribution of Chytridiales related to some physical and chemical factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samy K. Hassan

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Physical and chemical properties of water and soil were positively corelated with the occurrence and distribution of chytrides. Thirty-six zoosporic members of chytrids belonging to fourteen genera were recorded in the present study. Nowakowskiella, Karlingia, Cladochytrium, Endochytrium and Rhizophlyctis were the most common genera observed along River Nileshore and other canals in nine Governorates in Egypt during the winter of 1989/1990.

  10. Phytoplankton chytridiomycosis: fungal parasites of phytoplankton and their imprints on the food web dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Télesphore eSIME - NGANDO

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Parasitism is one of the earlier and common ecological interactions in the nature, occurring in almost all environments. Microbial parasites typically are characterized by their small size, short generation time, and high rates of reproduction, with simple life cycle occurring generally within a single host. They are diverse and ubiquitous in aquatic ecosystems, comprising viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Recently, environmental 18S-rDNA surveys of microbial eukaryotes have unveiled major infecting agents in pelagic systems, consisting primarily of the fungal order of Chytridiales (chytrids. Chytrids are considered the earlier branch of the Eumycetes and produce motile, flagellated zoospores, characterized by a small size (2-6 µm and a single, posterior flagellum. The existence of these dispersal propagules includes chytrids within the so-called group of zoosporic fungi, which are particularly adapted to the plankton lifestyle where they infect a wide variety of hosts, including fishes, eggs, zooplankton, algae, and other aquatic fungi but primarily freshwater phytoplankton. Related ecological implications are huge because chytrids can killed their hosts, release substrates for microbial processes, and provide nutrient-rich particles as zoospores and short fragments of filamentous inedible hosts for the grazer food chain. Furthermore, based on the observation that phytoplankton chytridiomycosis preferentially impacts the larger size species, blooms of such species (e.g. filamentous cyanobacteria may not totally represent trophic bottlenecks. Besides, chytrid epidemics represent an important driving factor in phytoplankton seasonal successions. In this review, I summarize the knowledge on the diversity, community structure, quantitative importance, and functional roles of fungal chytrids, primarily those who are parasites of phytoplankton, and infer the ecological implications and potentials for the food web dynamics and properties.

  11. Alternative states and population crashes in a resource-susceptible-infected model for planktonic parasites and hosts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerla, D.J.; Gsell, A.S.; Kooi, B.W.; Ibelings, B.W.; Van Donk, E.; Mooij, W.M.

    2013-01-01

    1. Despite the strong impact parasites can have, only few models of phytoplankton ecology or aquatic food webs have specifically included parasitism. 2. Here, we provide a susceptible-infected model for a diatom-chytrid host–parasite system that explicitly includes nutrients, infected and uninfected

  12. Alternative states and population crashes in a resource-susceptible-infected model for planktonic parasites and hosts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerla, D.J.; Gsell, A.S.; Kooi, B.W.; Ibelings, B.W.; Donk, van E.; Mooij, W.M.

    2013-01-01

    1. Despite the strong impact parasites can have, only few models of phytoplankton ecology or aquatic food webs have specifically included parasitism. 2. Here, we provide a susceptible-infected model for a diatom-chytrid hostparasite system that explicitly includes nutrients, infected and uninfected

  13. Herbicides in the environment alter infection dynamics in a microbial host-parasite system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Wyngaert, Silke; Gsell, A.S.; Spaak, P.; Ibelings, B.W.

    2013-01-01

    Parasites play an important role in the regulation of host population growth. How these ubiquitous stressors interact with anthropogenic stressors is less often studied. In a full factorial experiment we explored the independent and combined effects of the widely used herbicide diuron and a chytrid

  14. conservation efforts of kihansi spray toad nectophrynoides

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mr and Mrs Goboro

    facilities. The KSTs in the facilities are under intensive medical care that includes the determination ... were sterilized to prevent the possible spread of chytrid fungi from equipment and .... medical drops on an individual toad, dipping .... materials and equipment for the teaching of .... Makange M, Kulaya N, Biseko E, Kalenga.

  15. Fungal parasitism: life cycle, dynamics and impact on cyanobacterial blooms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mélanie Gerphagnon

    Full Text Available Many species of phytoplankton are susceptible to parasitism by fungi from the phylum Chytridiomycota (i.e. chytrids. However, few studies have reported the effects of fungal parasites on filamentous cyanobacterial blooms. To investigate the missing components of bloom ecosystems, we examined an entire field bloom of the cyanobacterium Anabaena macrospora for evidence of chytrid infection in a productive freshwater lake, using a high resolution sampling strategy. A. macrospora was infected by two species of the genus Rhizosiphon which have similar life cycles but differed in their infective regimes depending on the cellular niches offered by their host. R. crassum infected both vegetative cells and akinetes while R. akinetum infected only akinetes. A tentative reconstruction of the developmental stages suggested that the life cycle of R. crassum was completed in about 3 days. The infection affected 6% of total cells (and 4% of akinètes, spread over a maximum of 17% of the filaments of cyanobacteria, in which 60% of the cells could be parasitized. Furthermore, chytrids may reduce the length of filaments of Anabaena macrospora significantly by "mechanistic fragmentation" following infection. All these results suggest that chytrid parasitism is one of the driving factors involved in the decline of a cyanobacteria blooms, by direct mortality of parasitized cells and indirectly by the mechanistic fragmentation, which could weaken the resistance of A. macrospora to grazing.

  16. Daphnia can protect diatoms from fungal parasitism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kagami, M.; Van Donk, E.; De Bruin, A.; Rijkeboer, M.; Ibelings, B.W.

    2004-01-01

    Many phytoplankton species are susceptible to chytrid fungal parasitism. Much attention has been paid to abiotic factors that determine whether fungal infections become epidemic. It is still unknown, however, how biotic factors, such as interactions with zooplankton, affect the fungal infection

  17. The anaerobic chytridiomycete fungus Piromyces sp. E2 produces ethanol via pyruvate:formate lyase and an alcohol dehydrogenase E.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boxma, B.; Voncken, F.L.M.; Jannink, S.A.; Alen, T.A. van; Akhmanova, A.S.; Weelden, S.W. van; Hellemond, J.J. van; Ricard, G.N.S.; Huynen, M.A.; Tielens, A.G.; Hackstein, J.H.P.

    2004-01-01

    Anaerobic chytridiomycete fungi possess hydrogenosomes, which generate hydrogen and ATP, but also acetate and formate as end-products of a prokaryotic-type mixed-acid fermentation. Notably, the anaerobic chytrids Piromyces and Neocallimastix use pyruvate:formate lyase (PFL) for the catabolism of

  18. Bacterial flora on Cascades frogs in the Klamath Mountains of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karen Pope

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians are experiencing global declines due in part to the infectious disease chytridiomycosis. Some symbiotic bacteria residents on frog skin have been shown to inhibit the growth of Batrachochytrium dendrobatitis (Bd) but few studies have attempted to fully describe the resident bacterial flora of frog skin. We cultured and sequenced 130...

  19. Wing pathology of white-nose syndrome in bats suggests life-threatening disruption of physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cryan, Paul M; Meteyer, Carol Uphoff; Boyles, Justin G; Blehert, David S

    2010-11-11

    White-nose syndrome (WNS) is causing unprecedented declines in several species of North American bats. The characteristic lesions of WNS are caused by the fungus Geomyces destructans, which erodes and replaces the living skin of bats while they hibernate. It is unknown how this infection kills the bats. We review here the unique physiological importance of wings to hibernating bats in relation to the damage caused by G. destructans and propose that mortality is caused by catastrophic disruption of wing-dependent physiological functions. Mechanisms of disease associated with G. destructans seem specific to hibernating bats and are most analogous to disease caused by chytrid fungus in amphibians.

  20. Wing pathology of white-nose syndrome in bats suggests life-threatening disruption of physiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boyles Justin G

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract White-nose syndrome (WNS is causing unprecedented declines in several species of North American bats. The characteristic lesions of WNS are caused by the fungus Geomyces destructans, which erodes and replaces the living skin of bats while they hibernate. It is unknown how this infection kills the bats. We review here the unique physiological importance of wings to hibernating bats in relation to the damage caused by G. destructans and propose that mortality is caused by catastrophic disruption of wing-dependent physiological functions. Mechanisms of disease associated with G. destructans seem specific to hibernating bats and are most analogous to disease caused by chytrid fungus in amphibians.

  1. Wing pathology of white-nose syndrome in bats suggests life-threatening disruption of physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cryan, Paul M.; Meteyer, Carol U.; Boyles, Justin G.; Blehert, David S.

    2010-01-01

    White-nose syndrome (WNS) is causing unprecedented declines in several species of North American bats. The characteristic lesions of WNS are caused by the fungus Geomyces destructans, which erodes and replaces the living skin of bats while they hibernate. It is unknown how this infection kills the bats. We review here the unique physiological importance of wings to hibernating bats in relation to the damage caused by G. destructans and propose that mortality is caused by catastrophic disruption of wing-dependent physiological functions. Mechanisms of disease associated with G. destructans seem specific to hibernating bats and are most analogous to disease caused by chytrid fungus in amphibians.

  2. Fungal Community Responses to Past and Future Atmospheric CO2 Differ by Soil Type

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, J. Christopher; Fay, Philip A.; Polley, H. Wayne; Jackson, Robert B.

    2014-01-01

    Soils sequester and release substantial atmospheric carbon, but the contribution of fungal communities to soil carbon balance under rising CO2 is not well understood. Soil properties likely mediate these fungal responses but are rarely explored in CO2 experiments. We studied soil fungal communities in a grassland ecosystem exposed to a preindustrial-to-future CO2 gradient (250 to 500 ppm) in a black clay soil and a sandy loam soil. Sanger sequencing and pyrosequencing of the rRNA gene cluster revealed that fungal community composition and its response to CO2 differed significantly between soils. Fungal species richness and relative abundance of Chytridiomycota (chytrids) increased linearly with CO2 in the black clay (P 0.7), whereas the relative abundance of Glomeromycota (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi) increased linearly with elevated CO2 in the sandy loam (P = 0.02, R2 = 0.63). Across both soils, decomposition rate was positively correlated with chytrid relative abundance (r = 0.57) and, in the black clay soil, fungal species richness. Decomposition rate was more strongly correlated with microbial biomass (r = 0.88) than with fungal variables. Increased labile carbon availability with elevated CO2 may explain the greater fungal species richness and Chytridiomycota abundance in the black clay soil, whereas increased phosphorus limitation may explain the increase in Glomeromycota at elevated CO2 in the sandy loam. Our results demonstrate that soil type plays a key role in soil fungal responses to rising atmospheric CO2. PMID:25239904

  3. Assessment of listing and categorisation of animal diseases within the framework of the Animal Health Law (Regulation (EU) No 2016/429)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW); More, Simon; Bøtner, Anette

    2017-01-01

    Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) has been assessed according to the criteria of the Animal Health Law (AHL), in particular criteria of Article 7 on disease profile and impacts, Article 5 on the eligibility of Bsal to be listed, Article 9 for the categorisation of Bsal according to disease......, also at collective level. The output is composed of the categorical answer, and for the questions where no consensus was reached, the different supporting views are reported. Details on the methodology used for this assessment are explained in a separate opinion. According to the assessment performed...

  4. Diagnostics of Susabi-nori (Porphyra Yezoensis) by Laser-Induced Fluorescence Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okamoto, Tamotsu; Nakamura, Yuki; Takahashi, Kunio; Kaneko, Shohei; Shimada, Yuji

    Susabi-nori (Porphyra yezoensis) was diagnosed by means of laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) method. Fluorescence peaks located at approximately 580, 660, 685 and 720 nm were observed in the LIF spectra of Susabi-nori. In the spectrum of the sample infected with the red rot disease, the intensity of 580 nm peak was relatively high as compared with that of the control sample. On the other hand, the intensities of 580 nm and 660 nm peaks drastically decreased by the influence of the chytrid disease. Furthermore, the intensity of the 580 nm peak increased by dipping into fresh water. These results indicate that LIF spectra of Susabi-nori are affected by the diseases and the stress of fresh water and that the diseases and the stress of Susabi-nori can be diagnosed by the LIF method.

  5. 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. [...

  6. An alternative framework for responding to the amphibian crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, Erin L.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2017-01-01

    Volumes of data illustrate the severity of the crisis affecting amphibians, where > 32% of amphibians worldwide are threatened with declining populations. Although there have been isolated victories, the current approach to the issue is unsuccessful. We suggest that a radically different approach, something akin to human emergency response management (i.e. the Incident Command System), is one alternative to addressing the inertia and lack of cohesion in responding to amphibian issues. We acknowledge existing efforts and the useful research that has been conducted, but we suggest that a change is warranted and that the identification of a new amphibian chytrid provides the impetus for such a change. Our goal is to recognize that without a centralized effort we (collectively) are likely to fail in responding to this challenge.

  7. Ex situ diet influences the bacterial community associated with the skin of red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachael E Antwis

    Full Text Available Amphibians support symbiotic bacterial communities on their skin that protect against a range of infectious pathogens, including the amphibian chytrid fungus. The conditions under which amphibians are maintained in captivity (e.g. diet, substrate, enrichment in ex situ conservation programmes may affect the composition of the bacterial community. In addition, ex situ amphibian populations may support different bacterial communities in comparison to in situ populations of the same species. This could have implications for the suitability of populations intended for reintroduction, as well as the success of probiotic bacterial inoculations intended to provide amphibians with a bacterial community that resists invasion by the chytrid fungus. We aimed to investigate the effect of a carotenoid-enriched diet on the culturable bacterial community associated with captive red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas and make comparisons to bacteria isolated from a wild population from the Chiquibul Rainforest in Belize. We successfully showed carotenoid availability influences the overall community composition, species richness and abundance of the bacterial community associated with the skin of captive frogs, with A. callidryas fed a carotenoid-enriched diet supporting a greater species richness and abundance of bacteria than those fed a carotenoid-free diet. Our results suggest that availability of carotenoids in the diet of captive frogs is likely to be beneficial for the bacterial community associated with the skin. We also found wild A. callidryas hosted more than double the number of different bacterial species than captive frogs with very little commonality between species. This suggests frogs in captivity may support a reduced and diverged bacterial community in comparison to wild populations of the same species, which could have particular relevance for ex situ conservation projects.

  8. Using decision analysis to support proactive management of emerging infectious wildlife diseases

    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.; Nanjappa, Priya; Olson, Deanna H.; Powers, Jenny G.; Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Watry, Mary Kay; Woodhams, Douglas C.; White, C. LeAnn

    2017-01-01

    Despite calls for improved responses to emerging infectious diseases in wildlife, management is seldom considered until a disease has been detected in affected populations. Reactive approaches may limit the potential for control and increase total response costs. An alternative, proactive management framework can identify immediate actions that reduce future impacts even before a disease is detected, and plan subsequent actions that are conditional on disease emergence. We identify four main obstacles to developing proactive management strategies for the newly discovered salamander pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). Given that uncertainty is a hallmark of wildlife disease management and that associated decisions are often complicated by multiple competing objectives, we advocate using decision analysis to create and evaluate trade-offs between proactive (pre-emergence) and reactive (post-emergence) management options. Policy makers and natural resource agency personnel can apply principles from decision analysis to improve strategies for countering emerging infectious diseases.

  9. Interplays between soil-borne plant viruses and RNA silencing-mediated antiviral defense in roots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ida Bagus Andika

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Although the majority of plant viruses are transmitted by arthropod vectors and invade the host plants through the aerial parts, there is a considerable number of plant viruses that infect roots via soil-inhabiting vectors such as plasmodiophorids, chytrids, and nematodes. These soil-borne viruses belong to diverse families, and many of them cause serious diseases in major crop plants. Thus, roots are important organs for the life cycle of many viruses. Compared to shoots, roots have a distinct metabolism and particular physiological characteristics due to the differences in development, cell composition, gene expression patterns, and surrounding environmental conditions. RNA silencing is an important innate defense mechanism to combat virus infection in plants, but the specific information on the activities and molecular mechanism of RNA silencing-mediated viral defense in root tissue is still limited. In this review, we summarize and discuss the current knowledge regarding RNA silencing aspects of the interactions between soil-borne viruses and host plants. Overall, research evidence suggests that soil-borne viruses have evolved to adapt to the distinct mechanism of antiviral RNA silencing in roots.

  10. Environmental and Host Effects on Skin Bacterial Community Composition in Panamanian Frogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon J. Varela

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Research on the amphibian skin microbiota has focused on identifying bacterial taxa that deter a pathogenic chytrid fungus, and on describing patterns of microbiota variation. However, it remains unclear how environmental variation affects amphibian skin bacterial communities, and whether the overall functional diversity of the amphibian skin microbiota is associated to such variation. We sampled skin microbial communities from one dendrobatoid frog species across an environmental gradient along the Panama Canal, and from three dendrobatoid frog species before and after the onset of the wet season in one site. We found frog skin microbial alpha diversity to be highest in frogs from sites with low soil pH, but no clear effect of the onset of the wet season. However, we found frog skin microbial community structure to be affected by soil pH and the onset of the wet season, which also resulted in a decrease in between-sample variation. Across the sampled frog species, bacterial functional groups changed with the onset of the wet season, with certain bacterial functional groups entirely disappearing and others differing in their relative abundances. In particular, we found the proportion of Bd-inhibitory bacteria to correlate with mean soil pH, and to increase in two of the frog species with the onset of the wet season. Taken together, our results suggest that structure and predicted function of amphibian bacterial skin communities may be influenced by environmental variables such as pH and precipitation, site effects, and host effects.

  11. Global patterns in threats to vertebrates by biological invasions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellard, C.; Genovesi, P.; Jeschke, J. M.

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions as drivers of biodiversity loss have recently been challenged. Fundamentally, we must know where species that are threatened by invasive alien species (IAS) live, and the degree to which they are threatened. We report the first study linking 1372 vertebrates threatened by more than 200 IAS from the completely revised Global Invasive Species Database. New maps of the vulnerability of threatened vertebrates to IAS permit assessments of whether IAS have a major influence on biodiversity, and if so, which taxonomic groups are threatened and where they are threatened. We found that centres of IAS-threatened vertebrates are concentrated in the Americas, India, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. The areas in which IAS-threatened species are located do not fully match the current hotspots of invasions, or the current hotspots of threatened species. The relative importance of biological invasions as drivers of biodiversity loss clearly varies across regions and taxa, and changes over time, with mammals from India, Indonesia, Australia and Europe are increasingly being threatened by IAS. The chytrid fungus primarily threatens amphibians, whereas invasive mammals primarily threaten other vertebrates. The differences in IAS threats between regions and taxa can help efficiently target IAS, which is essential for achieving the Strategic Plan 2020 of the Convention on Biological Diversity. PMID:26817767

  12. Ranid Herpesvirus 3 and Proliferative Dermatitis in Free-Ranging Wild Common Frogs (Rana Temporaria).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Origgi, F C; Schmidt, B R; Lohmann, P; Otten, P; Akdesir, E; Gaschen, V; Aguilar-Bultet, L; Wahli, T; Sattler, U; Stoffel, M H

    2017-07-01

    Amphibian pathogens are of current interest as contributors to the global decline of amphibians. However, compared with chytrid fungi and ranaviruses, herpesviruses have received relatively little attention. Two ranid herpesviruses have been described: namely, Ranid herpesvirus 1 (RHV1) and Ranid herpesvirus 2 (RHV2). This article describes the discovery and partial characterization of a novel virus tentatively named Ranid herpesvirus 3 (RHV3), a candidate member of the genus Batrachovirus in the family Alloherpesviridae. RHV3 infection in wild common frogs (Rana temporaria) was associated with severe multifocal epidermal hyperplasia, dermal edema, a minor inflammatory response, and variable mucous gland degeneration. Intranuclear inclusions were numerous in the affected epidermis together with unique extracellular aggregates of herpesvirus-like particles. The RHV3-associated skin disease has features similar to those of a condition recognized in European frogs for the last 20 years and whose cause has remained elusive. The genome of RHV3 shares most of the features of the Alloherpesviruses. The characterization of this presumptive pathogen may be of value for amphibian conservation and for a better understanding of the biology of Alloherpesviruses.

  13. Fungal Sex: The Mucoromycota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Soo Chan; Idnurm, Alexander

    2017-03-01

    Although at the level of resolution of genes and molecules most information about mating in fungi is from a single lineage, the Dikarya, many fundamental discoveries about mating in fungi have been made in the earlier branches of the fungi. These are nonmonophyletic groups that were once classified into the chytrids and zygomycetes. Few species in these lineages offer the potential of genetic tractability, thereby hampering the ability to identify the genes that underlie those fundamental insights. Research performed during the past decade has now established the genes required for mating type determination and pheromone synthesis in some species in the phylum Mucoromycota, especially in the order Mucorales. These findings provide striking parallels with the evolution of mating systems in the Dikarya fungi. Other discoveries in the Mucorales provide the first examples of sex-cell type identity being driven directly by a gene that confers mating type, a trait considered more of relevance to animal sex determination but difficult to investigate in animals. Despite these discoveries, there remains much to be gleaned about mating systems from these fungi.

  14. Beet necrotic yellow vein virus accumulates inside resting spores and zoosporangia of its vector Polymyxa betae BNYVV infects P. betae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Payton Mark

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodiophorids and chytrids are zoosporic parasites of algae and land plant and are distributed worldwide. There are 35 species belonging to the order Plasmodiophorales and three species, Polymyxa betae, P. graminis, and Spongospora subterranea, are plant viral vectors. Plasmodiophorid transmitted viruses are positive strand RNA viruses belonging to five genera. Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV and its vector, P. betae, are the causal agents for rhizomania. Results Evidence of BNYVV replication and movement proteins associating with P. betae resting spores was initially obtained using immunofluorescence labeling and well characterized antisera to each of the BNYVV proteins. Root cross sections were further examined using immunogold labeling and electron microscopy. BNYVV proteins translated from each of the four genomic and subgenomic RNAs accumulate inside P. betae resting spores and zoospores. Statistical analysis was used to determine if immunolabelling detected viral proteins in specific subcellular domains and at a level greater than in control samples. Conclusion Virus-like particles were detected in zoosporangia. Association of BNYVV replication and movement proteins with sporangial and sporogenic stages of P. betae suggest that BNYVV resides inside its vector during more than one life cycle stage. These data suggest that P. betae might be a host as well as a vector for BNYVV

  15. Beet necrotic yellow vein virus accumulates inside resting spores and zoosporangia of its vector Polymyxa betae BNYVV infects P. betae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubicz, Jeanmarie Verchot; Rush, Charles M; Payton, Mark; Colberg, Terry

    2007-04-05

    Plasmodiophorids and chytrids are zoosporic parasites of algae and land plant and are distributed worldwide. There are 35 species belonging to the order Plasmodiophorales and three species, Polymyxa betae, P. graminis, and Spongospora subterranea, are plant viral vectors. Plasmodiophorid transmitted viruses are positive strand RNA viruses belonging to five genera. Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV) and its vector, P. betae, are the causal agents for rhizomania. Evidence of BNYVV replication and movement proteins associating with P. betae resting spores was initially obtained using immunofluorescence labeling and well characterized antisera to each of the BNYVV proteins. Root cross sections were further examined using immunogold labeling and electron microscopy. BNYVV proteins translated from each of the four genomic and subgenomic RNAs accumulate inside P. betae resting spores and zoospores. Statistical analysis was used to determine if immunolabelling detected viral proteins in specific subcellular domains and at a level greater than in control samples. Virus-like particles were detected in zoosporangia. Association of BNYVV replication and movement proteins with sporangial and sporogenic stages of P. betae suggest that BNYVV resides inside its vector during more than one life cycle stage. These data suggest that P. betae might be a host as well as a vector for BNYVV.

  16. Are Ichthyosporea animals or fungi? Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of elongation factor 1alpha of Ichthyophonus irregularis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ragan, Mark A; Murphy, Colleen A; Rand, Thomas G

    2003-12-01

    Ichthyosporea is a recently recognized group of morphologically simple eukaryotes, many of which cause disease in aquatic organisms. Ribosomal RNA sequence analyses place Ichthyosporea near the divergence of the animal and fungal lineages, but do not allow resolution of its exact phylogenetic position. Some of the best evidence for a specific grouping of animals and fungi (Opisthokonta) has come from elongation factor 1alpha, not only phylogenetic analysis of sequences but also the presence or absence of short insertions and deletions. We sequenced the EF-1alpha gene from the ichthyosporean parasite Ichthyophonus irregularis and determined its phylogenetic position using neighbor-joining, parsimony and Bayesian methods. We also sequenced EF-1alpha genes from four chytrids to provide broader representation within fungi. Sequence analyses and the presence of a characteristic 12 amino acid insertion strongly indicate that I. irregularis is a member of Opisthokonta, but do not resolve whether I. irregularis is a specific relative of animals or of fungi. However, the EF-1alpha of I. irregularis exhibits a two amino acid deletion heretofore reported only among fungi.

  17. Citation rate and perceived subject bias in the amphibian-decline literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohmer, Michel E; Bishop, Phillip J

    2011-02-01

    As a result of global declines in amphibian populations, interest in the conservation of amphibians has grown. This growth has been fueled partially by the recent discovery of other potential causes of declines, including chytridiomycosis (the amphibian chytrid, an infectious disease) and climate change. It has been proposed that researchers have shifted their focus to these novel stressors and that other threats to amphibians, such as habitat loss, are not being studied in proportion to their potential effects. We tested the validity of this proposal by reviewing the literature on amphibian declines, categorizing the primary topic of articles within this literature (e.g., habitat loss or UV-B radiation) and comparing citation rates among articles on these topics and impact factors of journals in which the articles were published. From 1990 to 2009, the proportion of papers on habitat loss remained fairly constant, and although the number of papers on chytridiomycosis increased after the disease was described in 1998, the number of published papers on amphibian declines also increased. Nevertheless, papers on chytridiomycosis were more highly cited than papers not on chytridiomycosis and were published in journals with higher impact factors on average, which may indicate this research topic is more popular in the literature. Our results were not consistent with a shift in the research agenda on amphibians. We believe the perception of such a shift has been supported by the higher citation rates of papers on chytridiomycosis. ©2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  18. Restored agricultural wetlands in Central Iowa: habitat quality and amphibian response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Rebecca A.; Pierce, Clay; Smalling, Kelly L.; Klaver, Robert W.; Vandever, Mark W.; Battaglin, William A.; Muths, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians are declining throughout the United States and worldwide due, partly, to habitat loss. Conservation practices on the landscape restore wetlands to denitrify tile drainage effluent and restore ecosystem services. Understanding how water quality, hydroperiod, predation, and disease affect amphibians in restored wetlands is central to maintaining healthy amphibian populations in the region. We examined the quality of amphibian habitat in restored wetlands relative to reference wetlands by comparing species richness, developmental stress, and adult leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) survival probabilities to a suite of environmental metrics. Although measured habitat variables differed between restored and reference wetlands, differences appeared to have sub-lethal rather than lethal effects on resident amphibian populations. There were few differences in amphibian species richness and no difference in estimated survival probabilities between wetland types. Restored wetlands had more nitrate and alkaline pH, longer hydroperiods, and were deeper, whereas reference wetlands had more amphibian chytrid fungus zoospores in water samples and resident amphibians exhibited increased developmental stress. Restored and reference wetlands are both important components of the landscape in central Iowa and maintaining a complex of fish-free wetlands with a variety of hydroperiods will likely contribute to the persistence of amphibians in this landscape.

  19. 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.

  20. Current Status and Challenges in Identifying Disease Resistance Genes in Brassica napus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neik, Ting Xiang; Barbetti, Martin J.; Batley, Jacqueline

    2017-01-01

    Brassica napus is an economically important crop across different continents including temperate and subtropical regions in Europe, Canada, South Asia, China and Australia. Its widespread cultivation also brings setbacks as it plays host to fungal, oomycete and chytrid pathogens that can lead to serious yield loss. For sustainable crop production, identification of resistance (R) genes in B. napus has become of critical importance. In this review, we discuss four key pathogens affecting Brassica crops: Clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae), Blackleg (Leptosphaeria maculans and L. biglobosa), Sclerotinia Stem Rot (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum), and Downy Mildew (Hyaloperonospora parasitica). We first review current studies covering prevalence of these pathogens on Brassica crops and highlight the R genes and QTL that have been identified from Brassica species against these pathogens. Insights into the relationships between the pathogen and its Brassica host, the unique host resistance mechanisms and how these affect resistance outcomes is also presented. We discuss challenges in identification and deployment of R genes in B. napus in relation to highly specific genetic interactions between host subpopulations and pathogen pathotypes and emphasize the need for common or shared techniques and research materials or tighter collaboration between researchers to reconcile the inconsistencies in the research outcomes. Using current genomics tools, we provide examples of how characterization and cloning of R genes in B. napus can be carried out more effectively. Lastly, we put forward strategies to breed resistant cultivars through introgressions supported by genomic approaches and suggest prospects that can be implemented in the future for a better, pathogen-resistant B. napus. PMID:29163558

  1. Genomic sequence of a ranavirus (family Iridoviridae) associated with salamander mortalities in North America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jancovich, James K; Jinghe, Mao; Chinchar, V Gregory; Wyatt, Christopher; Case, Steven T; Kumar, Sudhir; Valente, Graziela; Subramanian, Sankar; Davidson, Elizabeth W; Collins, James P; Jacobs, Bertram L

    2003-11-10

    Disease is among the suspected causes of amphibian population declines, and an iridovirus and a chytrid fungus are the primary pathogens associated with amphibian mortalities. Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV) and a closely related strain, Regina ranavirus (RRV), are implicated in salamander die-offs in Arizona and Canada, respectively. We report the complete sequence of the ATV genome and partial sequence of the RRV genome. Sequence analysis of the ATV/RRV genomes showed marked similarity to other ranaviruses, including tiger frog virus (TFV) and frog virus 3 (FV3), the type virus of the genus Ranavirus (family Iridoviridae), as well as more distant relationships to lymphocystis disease virus, Chilo iridescent virus, and infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus. Putative open reading frames (ORFs) in the ATV sequence identified 24 genes that appear to control virus replication and block antiviral responses. In addition, >50 other putative genes, homologous to ORFs in other iridoviral genomes but of unknown function, were also identified. Sequence comparison performed by dot plot analysis between ATV and itself revealed a conserved 14-bp palindromic repeat within most intragenic regions. Dot plot analysis of ATV vs RRV sequences identified several polymorphisms between the two isolates. Finally, a comparison of ATV and TFV genomic sequences identified genomic rearrangements consistent with the high recombination frequency of iridoviruses. Given the adverse effects that ranavirus infections have on amphibian and fish populations, ATV/RRV sequence information will allow the design of better diagnostic probes for identifying ranavirus infections and extend our understanding of molecular events in ranavirus-infected cells.

  2. Characterization of Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum, an algal parasite new to the cryptomycota isolated from an outdoor algal pond used for the production of biofuel.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter M Letcher

    Full Text Available Mass culture of algae for the production of biofuels is a developing technology designed to offset the depletion of fossil fuel reserves. However, large scale culture of algae in open ponds can be challenging because of incidences of infestation with algal parasites. Without knowledge of the identity of the specific parasite and how to control these pests, algal-based biofuel production will be limited. We have characterized a eukaryotic parasite of Scenedesmus dimorphus growing in outdoor ponds used for biofuel production. We demonstrated that as the genomic DNA of parasite FD01 increases, the concentration of S. dimorphus cells decreases; consequently, this is a highly destructive pathogen. Techniques for culture of the parasite and host were developed, and the endoparasite was identified as the Aphelidea, Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum. Phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal sequences revealed that parasite FD01 placed within the recently described Cryptomycota, a poorly known phylum based on two species of Rozella and environmental samples. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that aplanospores of the parasite produced filose pseudopodia, which contained fine fibers the diameter of actin microfilaments. Multiple lipid globules clustered and were associated with microbodies, mitochondria and a membrane cisternae, an arrangement characteristic of the microbody-lipid globule complex of chytrid zoospores. After encystment and attachment to the host cells, the parasite injected its protoplast into the host between the host cell wall and plasma membrane. At maturity the unwalled parasite occupied the entire host cell. After cleavage of the protoplast into aplanospores, a vacuole and lipids remained in the host cell. Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum isolate FD01 is characteristic of the original description of this species and is different from strain X-5 recently characterized. Our results help put a face on the Cryptomycota, revealing that the

  3. Characterization of Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum, an Algal Parasite New to the Cryptomycota Isolated from an Outdoor Algal Pond Used for the Production of Biofuel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letcher, Peter M.; Lopez, Salvador; Schmieder, Robert; Lee, Philip A.; Behnke, Craig; Powell, Martha J.; McBride, Robert C.

    2013-01-01

    Mass culture of algae for the production of biofuels is a developing technology designed to offset the depletion of fossil fuel reserves. However, large scale culture of algae in open ponds can be challenging because of incidences of infestation with algal parasites. Without knowledge of the identity of the specific parasite and how to control these pests, algal-based biofuel production will be limited. We have characterized a eukaryotic parasite of Scenedesmus dimorphus growing in outdoor ponds used for biofuel production. We demonstrated that as the genomic DNA of parasite FD01 increases, the concentration of S. dimorphus cells decreases; consequently, this is a highly destructive pathogen. Techniques for culture of the parasite and host were developed, and the endoparasite was identified as the Aphelidea, Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum. Phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal sequences revealed that parasite FD01 placed within the recently described Cryptomycota, a poorly known phylum based on two species of Rozella and environmental samples. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that aplanospores of the parasite produced filose pseudopodia, which contained fine fibers the diameter of actin microfilaments. Multiple lipid globules clustered and were associated with microbodies, mitochondria and a membrane cisternae, an arrangement characteristic of the microbody-lipid globule complex of chytrid zoospores. After encystment and attachment to the host cells, the parasite injected its protoplast into the host between the host cell wall and plasma membrane. At maturity the unwalled parasite occupied the entire host cell. After cleavage of the protoplast into aplanospores, a vacuole and lipids remained in the host cell. Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum isolate FD01 is characteristic of the original description of this species and is different from strain X-5 recently characterized. Our results help put a face on the Cryptomycota, revealing that the phylum is more

  4. Current Status and Challenges in Identifying Disease Resistance Genes in Brassica napus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ting Xiang Neik

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Brassica napus is an economically important crop across different continents including temperate and subtropical regions in Europe, Canada, South Asia, China and Australia. Its widespread cultivation also brings setbacks as it plays host to fungal, oomycete and chytrid pathogens that can lead to serious yield loss. For sustainable crop production, identification of resistance (R genes in B. napus has become of critical importance. In this review, we discuss four key pathogens affecting Brassica crops: Clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae, Blackleg (Leptosphaeria maculans and L. biglobosa, Sclerotinia Stem Rot (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, and Downy Mildew (Hyaloperonospora parasitica. We first review current studies covering prevalence of these pathogens on Brassica crops and highlight the R genes and QTL that have been identified from Brassica species against these pathogens. Insights into the relationships between the pathogen and its Brassica host, the unique host resistance mechanisms and how these affect resistance outcomes is also presented. We discuss challenges in identification and deployment of R genes in B. napus in relation to highly specific genetic interactions between host subpopulations and pathogen pathotypes and emphasize the need for common or shared techniques and research materials or tighter collaboration between researchers to reconcile the inconsistencies in the research outcomes. Using current genomics tools, we provide examples of how characterization and cloning of R genes in B. napus can be carried out more effectively. Lastly, we put forward strategies to breed resistant cultivars through introgressions supported by genomic approaches and suggest prospects that can be implemented in the future for a better, pathogen-resistant B. napus.

  5. Genomic sequence of a ranavirus (family Iridoviridae) associated with salamander mortalities in North America

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jancovich, James K.; Mao Jinghe; Chinchar, V. Gregory; Wyatt, Christopher; Case, Steven T.; Kumar, Sudhir; Valente, Graziela; Subramanian, Sankar; Davidson, Elizabeth W.; Collins, James P.; Jacobs, Bertram L.

    2003-01-01

    Disease is among the suspected causes of amphibian population declines, and an iridovirus and a chytrid fungus are the primary pathogens associated with amphibian mortalities. Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV) and a closely related strain, Regina ranavirus (RRV), are implicated in salamander die-offs in Arizona and Canada, respectively. We report the complete sequence of the ATV genome and partial sequence of the RRV genome. Sequence analysis of the ATV/RRV genomes showed marked similarity to other ranaviruses, including tiger frog virus (TFV) and frog virus 3 (FV3), the type virus of the genus Ranavirus (family Iridoviridae), as well as more distant relationships to lymphocystis disease virus, Chilo iridescent virus, and infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus. Putative open reading frames (ORFs) in the ATV sequence identified 24 genes that appear to control virus replication and block antiviral responses. In addition, >50 other putative genes, homologous to ORFs in other iridoviral genomes but of unknown function, were also identified. Sequence comparison performed by dot plot analysis between ATV and itself revealed a conserved 14-bp palindromic repeat within most intragenic regions. Dot plot analysis of ATV vs RRV sequences identified several polymorphisms between the two isolates. Finally, a comparison of ATV and TFV genomic sequences identified genomic rearrangements consistent with the high recombination frequency of iridoviruses. Given the adverse effects that ranavirus infections have on amphibian and fish populations, ATV/RRV sequence information will allow the design of better diagnostic probes for identifying ranavirus infections and extend our understanding of molecular events in ranavirus-infected cells

  6. Trouble in the aquatic world: How wildlife professionals are battling amphibian declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Deanna H.; Chestnut, Tara E.

    2014-01-01

    A parasitic fungus, similar to the one that caused the extinction of numerous tropical frog and toad species, is killing salamanders in Europe. Scientists first identified the fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, in 2013 as the culprit behind the death of fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) in the Netherlands (Martel et al. 2013) and are now exploring its potential impact to other species. Although the fungus, which kills the amphibians by infecting their skin, has not yet spread to the United States, researchers believe it’s only a matter of time before it does and, when that happens, the impact on salamander populations could be devastating (Martel et al. 2014).Reports of worldwide declines of amphibians began a quarter of a century ago (Blaustein & Wake 1990). Globally, some amphibian population declines occurred in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and declining trends continued in North America (Houlahan et al. 2000). In the earlier years, population declines were attributed primarily to overharvest due to unregulated supply of species such as the northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) for educational use (Dodd 2013). In later years, however, causes of declines were less evident. In 1989, herpetologists at the First World Congress of Herpetology traded alarming stories of losses across continents and in seemingly protected landscapes, making it clear that amphibian population declines were a “global phenomenon.” In response to these reports, in 1991, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) established the Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force to better understand the scale and scope of global amphibian declines. Unfortunately, the absence of long-term monitoring data and targeted studies made it difficult for the task force to compile information.Today, according to AmphibiaWeb.org, there are 7,342 amphibian species in the world — double the number since the first alerts of declines — making the situation

  7. Factors limiting the recovery of boreal toads (Bufo b. boreas)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, C.; Corn, P.S.; Jones, M.S.; Livo, L.J.; Muths, E.; Loeffler, C.W.; Lannoo, M.

    2005-01-01

    Boreal toads (Bufo b. boreas) are widely distributed over much of the mountainous western United States. Populations in the Southern Rocky Mountains suffered extensive declines in the late 1970s through early 1980s (Carey, 1993). At the time, these mass mortalities were thought to be associated with a bacterial infection (Carey, 1993). Although the few populations that survived the mass die-offs were not systematically monitored until at least 1993, no mass mortalities had been observed until 1996 when die-offs were observed. A mycotic skin infection associated with a chytrid fungus is now causing mortality of toads in at least two of the populations (M.S. Jones and D.E. Green, unpublished data; Muths et al., 2003). Boreal toads are now absent throughout large areas of their former distribution in Colorado and southern Wyoming and may be extinct in New Mexico (Corn et al., 1989; Carey, 1993; Stuart and Painter, 1994). These toads are classified as “endangered” by Colorado and New Mexico and are designated as a protected non-game species in Wyoming. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has categorized the Southern Rocky Mountain populations for federal listing and is currently reviewing their designation as a “warranted but precluded” species for possible listing in the next few years. For the management of boreal toads and their habitats, a Boreal Toad Recovery Team was formed by the Colorado Division of Wildlife in 1995 as part of a collaborative effort with federal agencies within the United States’ departments of the Interior and Agriculture and with agencies in two adjoining states. To date, conservation agreements have been signed by eight state and federal agencies and by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. Although boreal toads were considered common throughout their range in Colorado, no comprehensive surveys of the numbers and sizes of their populations were conducted prior to mass die-offs in the 1970s. Surveys completed in the late 1980s to