4 results found
Fisher MC, Ghosh P, Shelton JMG, et al., 2018, Development and worldwide use of non-lethal, and minimal population-level impact, protocols for the isolation of amphibian chytrid fungi, Scientific Reports, Vol: 8, ISSN: 2045-2322
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. In tandem, we developed a lethal procedure for isolating chytrids from tadpole mouthparts. Reviewing a database of use a decade after their inception, we find that these methods have been applied across 5 continents, 23 countries and in 62 amphibian species. Isolation of chytrids by the non-lethal RML protocol occured in 18% of attempts with 207 fungal isolates and three species of chytrid being recovered. Isolation of chytrids from tadpoles occured in 43% of attempts with 334 fungal isolates of one species (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) being recovered. Together, these methods have resulted in Non-lethal isolation of chytrids from amphibiansa si gnificant reduction and refinement of our use of threatened amphibian species and have improved our ability to work with this group of emerging pathogens.
Fisher M, Murray K, 2018, Recent Asian origin of chytrid fungi causing global amphibian declines, Science, Vol: 360, Pages: 621-627, ISSN: 0036-8075
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, BdASIA-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. Our findings point to East Asia as a geographic hotspot for B. dendrobatidis biodiversity and the original source of these lineages that now parasitize amphibians worldwide.
Ghosh P, Fisher MC, 2016, Dr Jekyll and Mrs Hyde: Risky hybrid sex by amphibian-parasitizing chytrids in the Brazilian Atlantic Forests, Molecular Ecology, Vol: 25, Pages: 2961-2963, ISSN: 1365-294X
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