Printer Friendly

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.

COPYRIGHT 2013 Society for Science and the Public
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2013 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans
Author:Milius, Susan
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Oct 5, 2013
Words:161
Previous Article:Parasite rivalry may benefit host: worms in gut seem to protect people from Giardia.
Next Article:Game sharpens elderly brains.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters