HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
At Last, Zoologists May Know What Is Killing The World's Amphibians

A Great Leap Forward

Frogs and toads throughout the world are being killed by a fungus that is new to science. The fungus, which coats their undersides and legs, is thought to be suffocating the animals, which breathe through their skins. It could be a major factor underlying the decline in amphibian populations reported worldwide.

The fungus has been found independently by teams in the US and Australia. It belongs to a new genus of chytrid, a group thought to be related to the earliest fungi. Although other chytrids parasitise a range of organisms, from microscopic algae to insects, they have never before been found to cause disease in vertebrates.

The fungus, which has yet to be given a scientific name, is known to have struck down 10 species of frogs and toads from 10 locations in Australia, seven species from two locations in Panama, a toad from southern California, and six species of frogs in four American zoos and aquariums. "There's little doubt that this is a worldwide phenomenon," says Allan Pessier, a veterinary pathologist at the National Zoological Park in Washington DC.

The scientists don't yet know if the fungus is the primary cause of death, or is killing animals weakened by other factors, such as ultraviolet radiation penetrating the atmosphere due to the thinned ozone layer or agricultural chemicals. "Many factors could be at work, but the fungus is probably right up there," says Pessier.

Nobody knows where the fungus came from, or how it is spread (see below). It was first noticed by Don Nichols, a colleague of Pessier's at the zoo in Washington DC, in arroyo toads, Bufo microscaphus californicus, from a captive colony in California.

At first Nichols didn't recognize it as a fungus. Because infected skin contained a proliferation of round cells, rather than fungal filaments, Nichols thought it was a protozoan. Earl Green of the Maryland Animal Health Laborat
'"/>

Contact: Claire Bowles
claire.bowles@rbi.co.uk
44 171 331 2751
New Scientist
24-Jun-1998


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Fishermen Are Killing Brown Pelicans With Kindness
2. AAAS Report Attributes Majority Of Killings In Guatemala To State
3. Veterinary Researchers Identify Accomplice Of Calf-Killing Parasite
4. High Carbon Dioxide Levels May Be Killing Insects
5. Killing Fields: A Bacterial Pesticide May Threaten Human Life
6. Worlds largest scientific society convenes regional meeting June 2-4 in Indianapolis
7. Worlds oldest modern hummingbirds described in Science
8. Worlds oldest mouse celebrates milestone birthday
9. Worlds largest tiger reserve declared in Myanmar
10. Worlds first databank for all living systems
11. Worlds largest-ever sea turtle symposium to address plummeting populations of sea turtles

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/11/2020)... ... May 11, 2020 , ... Octagos Health, a ... with implanted cardiac devices. The Octagos software allows healthcare professionals access to cardiac ... simplifies the management of remote transmissions and at the same time provides real-time ...
(Date:5/1/2020)... ... April 30, 2020 , ... USARAD ... Healthineers and several healthcare VC firms announces an official launch of CareDoctors.com. In ... to enhance patient care experience by offering live video consultations with board certified ...
(Date:5/1/2020)... ... May 01, 2020 , ... More than 600 people undergo genetic ... Cancer Program, which is led by two genetic counselors. , My Gene Counsel ... is teaming up with UConn’s High Rick Program to ensure that UConn’s patients who ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/21/2020)... Prairie, MN (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2020 , ... ... to help patients get dental implants and bone grafting through PIEZOSURGERY® technology. ... tissues. This is often used to prepare a patient for dental implants, especially when ...
(Date:5/15/2020)... ... , ... This new service offers clients a way to speak with Subject ... the need arises. Lachman’s OnCall SMEs have extensive knowledge of a wide range of ... OnCall™ SMEs are available normal business hours Monday through Friday from 9:00 am – ...
(Date:5/14/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Early stages of drug discovery often depend ... on the drug’s mechanism of action (MOA). Gene expression profiling technologies like RNA ... of molecular pathways. This information can complement phenotypic readouts and can be used ...
(Date:5/1/2020)... NEW YORK (PRWEB) , ... April 30, 2020 ... ... Ideas Awards were announced today, honoring the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that ... is a revolutionary bioprinter for living cells, which has taken out the top ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: