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Abstract Detail

Poster Session

Belasen, Anat [1], James, Timothy [1].

Investigating the native skin mycoflora as a potential first line of defense against amphibian chytridiomycosis.

Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) threaten global biodiversity and public health. Predicting potential EID effects necessitates characterizing the processes underlying variation in host susceptibility. The organismal “microbiome,” the community of microbial symbionts inhabiting the host’s organs, such as the skin and gut, contribute significantly to this variability. New metagenomic techniques have facilitated deeper understanding of microsymbionts, as traditional culturing often produces biased samples. Bacteria are likely important in mediating host health and can enhance immunocompetence. Despite the knowledge that fungi are also abundant and interact with bacteria, mycoflora remain largely overlooked in studies of the microbiome. I am applying molecular techniques for microbial community analysis to examine the skin mycoflora of amphibians. It is well-established that bacteria can serve as a potential “first line of defense” against the widespread amphibian skin pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Mycoflora are likely important as well, as some protect against pathogens (e.g., mycorrhizae in plants), and others are “hyperparasites.” Therefore, native amphibian skin fungi may help explain the enigmatic variation in Bd susceptibility among hosts. A first step in determining fungal symbiont significance in amphibian-Bd interactions is establishing the variation in mycoflora community across species and ecosystems. In this study I test the hypothesis that fungi exhibit similar patterns to bacteria, for which core species exist across amphibian hosts and ecosystems. I also examine whether the fungal species recovered specialize on amphibians.

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1 - University of Michigan, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 830 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI, 48103, United States

amphibian disease.

Presentation Type: Offered Paper - Poster
Session: P7
Location: Lincoln Room/Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center
Date: Monday, June 9th, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM
Number: P7007
Abstract ID:112
Candidate for Awards:Graduate Student Poster Presentation Award

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