Title

Detection of Chytridiomycosis from Field Samples in North Georgia Amphibian Populations

Faculty Mentor(s)

N. L. Hyslop, and J. M. Morgan

Campus

Gainesville

Proposal Type

Poster

Subject Area

Biology

Location

Robinson Ballroom B

Start Date

1-4-2015 12:00 PM

End Date

1-4-2015 1:30 PM

Description/Abstract

Global decline in ecological diversity has emerged as one of the most pressing biological problems over the past century. One of the most affected taxonomic groups includes amphibians, which have experienced severe population declines and extinctions. Contributing to these declines is the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the causative agent of Chytridiomycosis, an infectious skin disease that targets the keratinized skin cells in some amphibian species. Research indicates that Chytridiomycosis may be sporadically fatal to various amphibian species and has been identified as a major cause of amphibian declines globally. Although Bd has been heavily investigated over the past decade, very little research has been conducted on north Georgia’s amphibian populations, an area of significant amphibian diversity in North America. To survey for the presence of Bd, we collected skin swab samples from wild amphibians caught in the field from sites in the north Georgia Piedmont region from the spring to late fall 2014. Following field sampling, DNA extractions were taken from the samples and nested PCR has been performed to detect occurrence of Bd bands. In nested PCR, two sequential sets of primers are used to amplify the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region which produced strong amplified band that allowed for detection of Bd DNA. We will present preliminary results on the level of Bd currently found at our study areas. With this research we hope to expand our knowledge of the occurrence of Chytridiomycosis in the region.

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Apr 1st, 12:00 PM Apr 1st, 1:30 PM

Detection of Chytridiomycosis from Field Samples in North Georgia Amphibian Populations

Robinson Ballroom B

Global decline in ecological diversity has emerged as one of the most pressing biological problems over the past century. One of the most affected taxonomic groups includes amphibians, which have experienced severe population declines and extinctions. Contributing to these declines is the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the causative agent of Chytridiomycosis, an infectious skin disease that targets the keratinized skin cells in some amphibian species. Research indicates that Chytridiomycosis may be sporadically fatal to various amphibian species and has been identified as a major cause of amphibian declines globally. Although Bd has been heavily investigated over the past decade, very little research has been conducted on north Georgia’s amphibian populations, an area of significant amphibian diversity in North America. To survey for the presence of Bd, we collected skin swab samples from wild amphibians caught in the field from sites in the north Georgia Piedmont region from the spring to late fall 2014. Following field sampling, DNA extractions were taken from the samples and nested PCR has been performed to detect occurrence of Bd bands. In nested PCR, two sequential sets of primers are used to amplify the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region which produced strong amplified band that allowed for detection of Bd DNA. We will present preliminary results on the level of Bd currently found at our study areas. With this research we hope to expand our knowledge of the occurrence of Chytridiomycosis in the region.