New fungus kills salamanders.
The rogue chytrid fungus that has devastated more than 200 kinds of amphibians worldwide has an accomplice: a second species that researchers have discovered attacking fire salamanders. Populations of frogs, salamanders and their relatives have been dwindling worldwide, and in 1999 scientists identified a contributing factor. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was the first member of a phylum of fungi called chytrids found to attack vertebrates. Now genetic tests have identified a second vertebratekilling chytrid, the newly named Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans. Researchers found the new fungus when volunteers reported a population crash in a yellow-and-black fire salamander, Salamandra salamandra (shown), in the Netherlands. Lab tests showed that fungus spores from a sick salamander caused the disease in healthy ones, researchers report September 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Within days of infection, the fungus eats away the skin of a salamander until scientists need a microscope to see skin remnants.
Please note: Illustration(s) are not available due to copyright restrictions.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Title Annotation:||Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Oct 5, 2013|
|Previous Article:||Parasite rivalry may benefit host: worms in gut seem to protect people from Giardia.|
|Next Article:||Game sharpens elderly brains.|