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PNAS:真菌或导致火蝾螈衰退

来源:中国科学报 2013-12-16 15:40

科研人员分离出了一种此前未知的真菌,并认为它是驱动欧洲西北部火蝾螈种群濒临灭绝的原因。

目前,生物多样性危机威胁整个两栖动物种群。传染病(壶菌病)被认为是全球两栖动物数量减少或灭绝的主要驱动力之一。一直以来,人们将该传染病的源头归结为单一种类的水生真菌蛙壶菌。它已经在20世纪90年代以来导致了全球200多种两栖动物的衰退。但是并非所有两栖动物的死亡都与蛙壶菌有关。若干两栖动物数量的减少依然无法解释,例如火蝾螈数量的急剧下降。

为了找出答案,比利时根特大学兽医学、病理学、细菌学与禽病系的An Martel及其同事,开始寻找困扰着当地火蝾螈种群的神秘病原体,并且发现了第二种致病病原体:一种壶菌真菌,研究人员将其命名为Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov

在近日发表于美国《国家科学院院刊》的论文中,研究人员报告说,从死亡的火蝾螈皮肤损伤中分离出的真菌,看上去已经为寄生在脊椎动物身上作好了准备。与蛙壶菌相比,这些真菌喜欢更凉爽的环境,在10到15摄氏度之间生长得最好,但无法在25摄氏度以上的温度下生存。

研究人员还实验性地让产婆蟾感染了这种真菌,结果表明,它能抵抗这种迅速杀死其他两栖动物的皮肤疾病。作者说,这些发现提示,B. salamandrivorans与其亲缘关系相近的蛙壶菌相比,可能在两栖动物世界中占据了一个不同的生态位。(生物谷Bioon.com)

生物谷推荐的英文摘要

Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences of the United States of America                 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1307356110

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov. causes lethal chytridiomycosis in amphibians

An Martela,1, Annemarieke Spitzen-van der Sluijsb, Mark Blooia, Wim Bertc, Richard Ducatellea, Matthew C. Fisherd, Antonius Woeltjesb, Wilbert Bosmanb, Koen Chiersa, Franky Bossuyte, and Frank Pasmansa

The current biodiversity crisis encompasses a sixth mass extinction event affecting the entire class of amphibians. The infectious disease chytridiomycosis is considered one of the major drivers of global amphibian population decline and extinction and is thought to be caused by a single species of aquatic fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. However, several amphibian population declines remain unexplained, among them a steep decrease in fire salamander populations (Salamandra salamandra) that has brought this species to the edge of local extinction. Here we isolated and characterized a unique chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov., from this salamander population. This chytrid causes erosive skin disease and rapid mortality in experimentally infected fire salamanders and was present in skin lesions of salamanders found dead during the decline event. Together with the closely related B. dendrobatidis, this taxon forms a well-supported chytridiomycete clade, adapted to vertebrate hosts and highly pathogenic to amphibians. However, the lower thermal growth preference of B. salamandrivorans, compared with B. dendrobatidis, and resistance of midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) to experimental infection with B. salamandrivorans suggest differential niche occupation of the two chytrid fungi.

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