Predation by zooplankton on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis : biological control of the deadly amphibian chytrid fungus?
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Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (hereafter Batrachochytrium), a fungal pathogen of amphibians, causes the disease chytridiomycosis which is responsible for unprecedented population declines and extinctions globally. Host defenses against chytridiomycosis include cutaneous symbiotic bacteria and anti-microbial peptides, and proposed treatment measures include use of fungicides and bioaugmentation. Efforts to eradicate the fungus from localized areas of disease outbreak have not been successful. Instead, control measures to mitigate the impacts of the disease on host populations, many of which are already persisting with Batrachochytrium in an endemic state, may be more realistic. The infective stage of the fungus is an aquatic zoospore, 3–5 μm in diameter. Here we show that zoospores of Batrachochytrium are consumed by the zooplankter Daphnia magna. This species inhabits amphibian breeding sites where Batrachochytrium transmission occurs, and consumption of Batrachochytrium zoospores may lead to effective biological control of Batrachochytrium.
- Predation by zooplankton on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: biological control of the deadly amphibian chytrid fungus?
Biodiversity and Conservation
Volume 20, Issue 14 , pp 3549-3553
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Amphibian chytrid fungus
- Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
- Biological control
- Daphnia magna
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Zoology Department, Oregon State University, 3029 Cordley Hall, Corvallis, OR, 97331, USA
- 2. Environmental and Molecular Toxicology Department, Oregon State University, 1007 ALS Building, Corvallis, OR, 97331, USA