Chemotaxis of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and its response to a variety of attractants

Angela S. Moss, Nikla S. Reddy, Ida M. Dortaj, Michael J.San Francisco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a fungal pathogen of amphibians that is increasingly implicated as a major cause of large-scale mortalities of amphibian species worldwide. Previous studies indicate that motile zoospores of B. dendrobatidis colonize the keratinized tissues of susceptible amphibians. Infections spread to adults and cause destruction of epidermal tissue. In an effort to understand how the chytrid cues into its host we developed an assay to study chemotaxis in the fungus. Here we show that zoospores exhibit positive movement toward a variety of attractants including sugars, proteins and amino acids. These observations suggest that the chytrid can respond to nutritional cues, including those of host origin. Implications of these observations to amphibian susceptibility to infection and chytrid virulence are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalMycologia
Volume100
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2008

Keywords

  • Amphibians
  • Chemotaxis
  • Chytrids

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