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Matthew C Fisher, Pria Ghosh, Jennifer M G Shelton, Kieran Bates, Lola Brookes, Claudia Wierzbicki, Gonçalo M Rosa, Rhys A Farrer, David M Aanensen, Mario Alvarado-Rybak, Arnaud Bataille, Lee Berger, Susanne Böll, Jaime Bosch, Frances C Clare, Elodie A Courtois, Angelica Crottini, Andrew A Cunningham, Thomas M Doherty-Bone, Fikirte Gebresenbet, David J Gower, Jacob Höglund, Timothy Y James, Thomas S Jenkinson, Tiffany A Kosch, Carolina Lambertini, Anssi Laurila, Chun-Fu Lin, Adeline Loyau, An Martel, Sara Meurling, Claude Miaud, Pete Minting, Serge Ndriantsoa, Simon J O'Hanlon, Frank Pasmans, Tsanta Rakotonanahary, Falitiana C E Rabemananjara, Luisa P Ribeiro, Dirk S Schmeller, Benedikt R Schmidt, Lee Skerratt, Freya Smith, Claudio Soto-Azat, Giulia Tessa, Luís Felipe Toledo, Andrés Valenzuela-Sánchez, Ruhan Verster, Judit Vörös, Bruce Waldman, Rebecca J Webb, Che Weldon, Emma Wombwell, Kelly R Zamudio, Joyce E Longcore, Trenton W J Garner
Parasitic chytrid fungi have emerged as a significant threat to amphibian species worldwide, necessitating the development of techniques to isolate these pathogens into culture for research purposes. However, early methods of isolating chytrids from their hosts relied on killing amphibians. We modified a pre-existing protocol for isolating chytrids from infected animals to use toe clips and biopsies from toe webbing rather than euthanizing hosts, and distributed the protocol to researchers as part of the BiodivERsA project RACE; here called the RML protocol...
May 17, 2018: Scientific Reports
Silke Van den Wyngaert, Keilor Rojas-Jimenez, Kensuke Seto, Maiko Kagami, Hans-Peter Grossart
Chytrids are zoosporic fungi that play an important, but yet understudied, ecological role in aquatic ecosystems. Many chytrid species have been morphologically described as parasites on phytoplankton. However, the majority of them have rarely been isolated and lack DNA sequence data. In this study we isolated and cultivated three parasitic chytrids, infecting a common volvocacean host species, Yamagishiella unicocca. In order to identify the chytrids, we characterized morphology and life cycle, and analyzed phylogenetic relationships based on 18S and 28S rDNA genes...
May 12, 2018: Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Simon J O'Hanlon, Adrien Rieux, Rhys A Farrer, Gonçalo M Rosa, Bruce Waldman, Arnaud Bataille, Tiffany A Kosch, Kris A Murray, Balázs Brankovics, Matteo Fumagalli, Michael D Martin, Nathan Wales, Mario Alvarado-Rybak, Kieran A Bates, Lee Berger, Susanne Böll, Lola Brookes, Frances Clare, Elodie A Courtois, Andrew A Cunningham, Thomas M Doherty-Bone, Pria Ghosh, David J Gower, William E Hintz, Jacob Höglund, Thomas S Jenkinson, Chun-Fu Lin, Anssi Laurila, Adeline Loyau, An Martel, Sara Meurling, Claude Miaud, Pete Minting, Frank Pasmans, Dirk S Schmeller, Benedikt R Schmidt, Jennifer M G Shelton, Lee F Skerratt, Freya Smith, Claudio Soto-Azat, Matteo Spagnoletti, Giulia Tessa, Luís Felipe Toledo, Andrés Valenzuela-Sánchez, Ruhan Verster, Judit Vörös, Rebecca J Webb, Claudia Wierzbicki, Emma Wombwell, Kelly R Zamudio, David M Aanensen, Timothy Y James, M Thomas P Gilbert, Ché Weldon, Jaime Bosch, François Balloux, Trenton W J Garner, Matthew C Fisher
Globalized infectious diseases are causing species declines worldwide, but their source often remains elusive. We used whole-genome sequencing to solve the spatiotemporal origins of the most devastating panzootic to date, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis , a proximate driver of global amphibian declines. We traced the source of B. dendrobatidis to the Korean peninsula, where one lineage, Bd ASIA-1, exhibits the genetic hallmarks of an ancestral population that seeded the panzootic. We date the emergence of this pathogen to the early 20th century, coinciding with the global expansion of commercial trade in amphibians, and we show that intercontinental transmission is ongoing...
May 11, 2018: Science
Allison Q Byrne, Thomas J Poorten, Jamie Voyles, Craig K R Willis, Erica Bree Rosenblum
Infection experiments are critical for understanding wildlife disease dynamics. Although infection experiments are typically designed to reduce complexity, disease outcomes still result from complex interactions between host, pathogen, and environmental factors. Cryptic variation across factors can lead to decreased repeatability of infection experiments within and between research groups and hinder research progress. Furthermore, studies with unexpected results are often relegated to the "file drawer" and potential insights gained from these experimental outcomes are lost...
2018: PloS One
Katherine Talbott, Tiffany M Wolf, Peter Sebastian, Meagan Abraham, Irene Bueno, Matt McLaughlin, Tara Harris, Rachel Thompson, Allan P Pessier, Dominic Travis
Amphibian populations are in decline worldwide as they face a barrage of challenges, including infectious diseases caused by ranaviruses and the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Here we describe seasonal dynamics of Bd and ranavirus detection in free-ranging post-metamorphic wood frogs Lithobates sylvaticus, boreal chorus frogs Pseudacris maculata/triseriata, and gray treefrogs Hyla versicolor/chrysoscelis, sampled over a 3 season gradient in Minnesota (USA) wetlands. We detected Bd in 36% (n = 259) of individuals sampled in 3 wetlands in 2014, and 33% (n = 255) of individuals sampled in 8 wetlands in 2015...
May 7, 2018: Diseases of Aquatic Organisms
Brandon J Varela, David Lesbarrères, Roberto Ibáñez, David M Green
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...
2018: Frontiers in Microbiology
Anthony W Waddle, Marlai Sai, Joshua E Levy, Ghazal Rezaei, Frank van Breukelen, Jef R Jaeger
We developed a protocol for isolating the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) from anurans. We sampled skin tissues from 2 common treefrogs, Pseudacris regilla and P. triseriata, collected from populations with high infection prevalence. We sampled tissues from 3 anatomical ventral regions (thigh, abdomen, and foot) where the pathogen is thought to concentrate. To mitigate potential bacterial contamination, we used a unique combination of 4 antibiotics. We quantified infections on frogs as zoospore equivalents (ZE) using a swabbing approach combined with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction...
March 5, 2018: Diseases of Aquatic Organisms
Sina Schorn, Heribert Cypionka
Achromatium is the largest freshwater bacterium known to date and easily recognised by conspicuous calcite bodies filling the cell volume. Members of this genus are highly abundant in diverse aquatic sediments and may account for up to 90% of the bacterial biovolume in the oxic-anoxic interfaces. The high abundance implies that Achromatium is either rapidly growing or hardly prone to predation. As Achromatium is still uncultivated and does not appear to grow fast, one could assume that the cells might escape predation by their unusual shape and composition...
February 28, 2018: Microbial Ecology
Annemarieke Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Gwij Stegen, Sergé Bogaerts, Stefano Canessa, Sebastian Steinfartz, Nico Janssen, Wilbert Bosman, Frank Pasmans, An Martel
Lack of disease spill-over between adjacent populations has been associated with habitat fragmentation and the absence of population connectivity. We here present a case which describes the absence of the spill-over of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) between two connected subpopulations of fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra). Based on neutrally evolving microsatellite loci, both subpopulations were shown to form a single genetic cluster, suggesting a shared origin and/or recent gene flow...
February 28, 2018: Scientific Reports
Ramsy Agha, Alina Gross, Melanie Gerphagnon, Thomas Rohrlack, Justyna Wolinska
Understanding how individual parasite traits contribute to overall fitness, and how they are modulated by both external and host environment, is crucial for predicting disease outcome. Fungal (chytrid) parasites of phytoplankton are important yet poorly studied pathogens with the potential to modulate the abundance and composition of phytoplankton communities and to drive their evolution. Here, we studied life-history traits of a chytrid parasite infecting the planktonic, bloom-forming cyanobacterium Planktothrix spp...
February 26, 2018: Parasitology
Sergey A Karpov, Purificación López-García, Maria A Mamkaeva, Vladimir I Klimov, Andrey E Vishnyakov, Victoria S Tcvetkova, David Moreira
Fungi encompass, in addition to classically well-studied lineages, an ever-expanding diversity of poorly known lineages including zoosporic chytrid-like parasites. Here, we formally describe Amoeboradix gromovi gen. et sp. nov. comprising a set of closely related strains of chytrid-like parasites of the yellow-green alga Tribonema gayanum unusually endowed with amoeboid zoospores. Morphological and ultrastructural features of A. gromovi observed by light and transmission electron microscopy recall previous descriptions of Rhizophydium anatropum...
February 2018: Protist
Pieter T J Johnson, Dana M Calhoun, Amber N Stokes, Calvin B Susbilla, Travis McDevitt-Galles, Cheryl J Briggs, Jason T Hoverman, Vasyl V Tkach, Jacobus C de Roode
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...
February 24, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
(no author information available yet)
The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis , is thought to affect over 500 amphibian species worldwide. But, as Georgina Mills explains, new research has now shed light on what could make some individuals more susceptible.
February 24, 2018: Veterinary Record
Emily A Wilson, Cheryl J Briggs, Tom L Dudley
Amphibian species are experiencing population declines due to infection by the fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). The African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), an asymptomatic carrier of Bd, has been implicated in the spread of this pathogen through global trade and established invasive populations on several continents. However, research has not explored the relationships of both life stages of this amphibian with Bd. While the post-metamorphic individuals may act as a reservoir, spreading the infection to susceptible species, the filter-feeding larvae may consume the motile Bd zoospores from the water column, potentially reducing pathogen abundance and thus the likelihood of infection...
2018: PloS One
Matilda Haraldsson, Mélanie Gerphagnon, Pauline Bazin, Jonathan Colombet, Samuele Tecchio, Télesphore Sime-Ngando, Nathalie Niquil
Parasites exist in every ecosystem and can have large influence on food web structure and function, yet, we know little about parasites' effect on food web dynamics. Here we investigate the role of microbial parasitism (viruses of bacteria, phytoplankton and cyanobacteria, and parasitic chytrids on cyanobacteria) on the dynamics of trophic pathways and food web functioning during a cyanobacteria bloom, using linear inverse food web modeling parameterized with a 2-month long data set (biomasses, infection parameters, etc...
April 2018: ISME Journal
Joice Ruggeri, Sergio Potsch Carvalho-E-Silva, Timothy Y James, Luís Felipe Toledo
Amphibians suffer from a number of factors that make them the most threatened group of vertebrates. One threat is the fungal disease chytridiomycosis caused by the emerging pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has rapidly spread and caused the loss of massive amphibian biodiversity worldwide. Recently, Bd was associated with a few amphibian population declines and extinctions in some areas of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. However, the mechanisms underlying such declines are not fully understood...
January 31, 2018: Diseases of Aquatic Organisms
Jean P Elbers, Mary B Brown, Sabrina S Taylor
BACKGROUND: Infectious disease is the single greatest threat to taxa such as amphibians (chytrid fungus), bats (white nose syndrome), Tasmanian devils (devil facial tumor disease), and black-footed ferrets (canine distemper virus, plague). Although understanding the genetic basis to disease susceptibility is important for the long-term persistence of these groups, most research has been limited to major-histocompatibility and Toll-like receptor genes. To better understand the genetic basis of infectious disease susceptibility in a species of conservation concern, we sequenced all known/predicted immune response genes (i...
January 19, 2018: BMC Genomics
Elisabeth Fitzek, Archi Joardar, Ramesh Gupta, Matt Geisler
In archaea, pseudouridine (Ψ) synthase Pus10 modifies uridine (U) to Ψ at positions 54 and 55 of tRNA. In contrast, Pus10 is not found in bacteria, where modifications at those two positions are carried out by TrmA (U54 to m5 U54) and TruB (U55 to Ψ55). Many eukaryotes have an apparent redundancy; their genomes contain orthologs of archaeal Pus10 and bacterial TrmA and TruB. Although eukaryal Pus10 genes share a conserved catalytic domain with archaeal Pus10 genes, their biological roles are not clear for the two reasons...
January 2018: Journal of Molecular Evolution
Alexandra M Bettina, Georgia Doing, Kelsey O'Brien, Gabriel G Perron, Brooke A Jude
Investigation of the Hudson Valley watershed reveals many violacein-producing bacteria. These are of interest for their biotherapeutic potential in treating chytrid infections of amphibians. The draft whole-genome sequences for seven Janthinobacterium isolates with a variety of phenotypes are provided in this study.
January 18, 2018: Genome Announcements
Quintin Lau, Takeshi Igawa, Ryuhei Minei, Tiffany A Kosch, Yoko Satta
BACKGROUND: In Japan and East Asia, endemic frogs appear to be tolerant or not susceptible to chytridiomycosis, a deadly amphibian disease caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytridium dendrobatidis (Bd). Japanese frogs may have evolved mechanisms of immune resistance to pathogens such as Bd. This study characterizes immune genes expressed in various tissues of healthy Japanese Rana frogs. RESULTS: We generated transcriptome data sets of skin, spleen and blood from three adult Japanese Ranidae frogs (Japanese brown frog Rana japonica, the montane brown frog Rana ornativentris, and Tago's brown frog Rana tagoi tagoi) as well as whole body of R...
December 28, 2017: BMC Genomics
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