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Ramsy Agha, Manja Saebelfeld, Christin Manthey, Thomas Rohrlack, Justyna Wolinska
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...
October 13, 2016: Scientific Reports
Kensuke Seto, Maiko Kagami, Yousuke Degawa
Chytrids are true fungi that reproduce with posteriorly uniflagellate zoospores. In the last decade, environmental DNA surveys revealed a large number of uncultured chytrids as well as undescribed order-level novel clades in Chytridiomycota. Although many species have been morphologically described, only some DNA sequence data of parasitic chytrids are available from the database. We herein discuss five cultures of parasitic chytrids on diatoms Aulacoseira spp. and Asterionella formosa. In order to identify the chytrids examined, thallus morphologies were observed using light microscopy...
October 7, 2016: Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Joshua Curtis Parrott, Alexander Shepack, David Burkart, Brandon LaBumbard, Patrick Scimè, Ethan Baruch, Alessandro Catenazzi
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...
October 5, 2016: EcoHealth
Ida Bagus Andika, Hideki Kondo, Liying Sun
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...
2016: Frontiers in Microbiology
Julie Murone, Joseph A DeMarchi, Matthew D Venesky
Host responses to pathogens include defenses that reduce infection burden (i.e., resistance) and traits that reduce the fitness consequences of an infection (i.e., tolerance). Resistance and tolerance are affected by an organism's physiological status. Corticosterone ("CORT") is a hormone that is associated with the regulation of many physiological processes, including metabolism and reproduction. Because of its role in the stress response, CORT is also considered the primary vertebrate stress hormone. When secreted at high levels, CORT is generally thought to be immunosuppressive...
2016: PloS One
Baofa Sun, Tong Li, Jinhua Xiao, Li Liu, Peng Zhang, Robert W Murphy, Shunmin He, Dawei Huang
Amphibian populations are experiencing catastrophic declines driven by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Although horizontal gene transfer (HGT) facilitates the evolution and adaptation in many fungi by conferring novel function genes to the recipient fungi, inter-kingdom HGT in Bd remains largely unexplored. In this study, our investigation detects 19 bacterial genes transferred to Bd, including metallo-beta-lactamase and arsenate reductase that play important roles in the resistance to antibiotics and arsenates...
2016: Frontiers in Microbiology
William J Davis, Peter M Letcher, Martha J Powell
Zoospore ultrastructural characters combined with molecular phylogenetic hypotheses have been used to revise the taxonomy of zoosporic true fungi. An example is the reclassification of Rhizophlyctis rosea-like fungal strains into four new families and three new genera within the order Rhizophlyctidales. One genus was Borealophlyctis, which included a Canadian isolate, DAOMC 229843. A recent survey of chytrid diversity in Alabama (USA) yielded additional strains (WJD 170, WJD 171) in the Borealophlyctis lineage...
July 2016: Mycologia
Tamar Leshem, Peter M Letcher, Martha J Powell, Assaf Sukenik
Only a few chytrid fungi have been reported as parasites of dinoflagellates. Among these reports, chytrids are periodically observed growing on the dinoflagellate, Peridinium gatunense, in Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), Israel. Because of the distinctive roles of parasitic chytrid fungi in decreasing phytoplankton populations and in transforming inedible algae into chytrid biomass which zooplankton grazers can eat, characterizing dinoflagellate parasites contributes to our understanding of the sustainability of this important water resource...
July 2016: Mycologia
Joyce E Longcore, D Rabern Simmons, Peter M Letcher
The diversity of the Chytridiomycota is poorly known and sequence information is not well represented in databases, often preventing identification of chytrid sequences retrieved from environmental samples. We found an unknown, saprobic chytrid, related to Synchytrium, which heretofore has been considered a lineage of parasites. Because of its phylogenetic relationship, and ecological dissimilarity to other Synchytrium species, we considered this fungus of scientific interest and describe it herein. We based our study on an analysis of 18S rDNA, light microscopic morphology, and ultrastructural characters of the zoospores...
September 2016: Fungal Biology
Carsten Russ, B Franz Lang, Zehua Chen, Sharvari Gujja, Terrance Shea, Qiandong Zeng, Sarah Young, Christina A Cuomo, Chad Nusbaum
Spizellomyces punctatus is a basally branching chytrid fungus that is found in the Chytridiomycota phylum. Spizellomyces species are common in soil and of importance in terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we report the genome sequence of S. punctatus, which will facilitate the study of this group of early diverging fungi.
2016: Genome Announcements
Tiffany A Kosch, Arnaud Bataille, Chelsea Didinger, John A Eimes, Sofia Rodríguez-Brenes, Michael J Ryan, Bruce Waldman
Pathogen-driven selection can favour major histocompatibility complex (MHC) alleles that confer immunological resistance to specific diseases. However, strong directional selection should deplete genetic variation necessary for robust immune function in the absence of balancing selection or challenges presented by other pathogens. We examined selection dynamics at one MHC class II (MHC-II) locus across Panamanian populations of the túngara frog, Physalaemus pustulosus, infected by the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd)...
August 2016: Biology Letters
Raul A Berenguel, Roberto K Elias, Thomas J Weaver, Richard P Reading
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.
October 2016: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Gisselle Yang Xie, Deanna H Olson, Andrew R Blaustein
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...
2016: PloS One
Jessica L Hite, Jaime Bosch, Saioa Fernández-Beaskoetxea, Daniel Medina, Spencer R Hall
Why does the severity of parasite infection differ dramatically across habitats? This question remains challenging to answer because multiple correlated pathways drive disease. Here, we examined habitat-disease links through direct effects on parasites and indirect effects on parasite predators (zooplankton), host diversity and key life stages of hosts. We used a case study of amphibian hosts and the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in a set of permanent and ephemeral alpine ponds. A field experiment showed that ultraviolet radiation (UVR) killed the free-living infectious stage of the parasite...
July 27, 2016: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Kaya Klop-Toker, Jose Valdez, Michelle Stockwell, Loren Fardell, Simon Clulow, John Clulow, Michael Mahony
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...
2016: PloS One
André M Comeau, Warwick F Vincent, Louis Bernier, Connie Lovejoy
In aquatic environments, fungal communities remain little studied despite their taxonomic and functional diversity. To extend the ecological coverage of this group, we conducted an in-depth analysis of fungal sequences within our collection of 3.6 million V4 18S rRNA pyrosequences originating from 319 individual marine (including sea-ice) and freshwater samples from libraries generated within diverse projects studying Arctic and temperate biomes in the past decade. Among the ~1.7 million post-filtered reads of highest taxonomic and phylogenetic quality, 23,263 fungal sequences were identified...
2016: Scientific Reports
Yi-Bing Hu, Davide Sosso, Xiao-Qing Qu, Li-Qing Chen, Lai Ma, Diane Chermak, De-Chun Zhang, Wolf B Frommer
SWEETs represent a new class of sugar transporters first described in plants and animals/humans and later in prokaryotes. Plant SWEETs play key roles in phloem loading, seed filling, and nectar secretion, whereas the role of archaeal, bacterial, and animal transporters remains elusive. Structural analyses show that eukaryotic SWEETs are composed of 2 triple-helix bundles (THBs) fused via an inversion linker helix, whereas prokaryotic SemiSWEETs contain only a single THB and require homodimerization to form transport pores...
July 13, 2016: FASEB Journal: Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Pria Ghosh, Matthew C Fisher
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...
July 2016: Molecular Ecology
Jonathan E Kolby, Peter Daszak
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...
June 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Jeremy M Cohen, David J Civitello, Amber J Brace, Erin M Feichtinger, C Nicole Ortega, Jason C Richardson, Erin L Sauer, Xuan Liu, Jason R Rohr
Humans are altering the distribution of species by changing the climate and disrupting biotic interactions and dispersal. A fundamental hypothesis in spatial ecology suggests that these effects are scale dependent; biotic interactions should shape distributions at local scales, whereas climate should dominate at regional scales. If so, common single-scale analyses might misestimate the impacts of anthropogenic modifications on biodiversity and the environment. However, large-scale datasets necessary to test these hypotheses have not been available until recently...
June 14, 2016: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
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