DAO 100:201-210 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02483

Host invasion by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: fungal and epidermal ultrastructure in model anurans

Sasha E. Greenspan1,*, Joyce E. Longcore2, Aram J. K. Calhoun

1Ecology and Environmental Science Program, 2School of Biology and Ecology, and 3Department of Wildlife Ecology, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469, USA

ABSTRACT: The chytridiomycete fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) colonizes mouthparts of amphibian larvae and superficial epidermis of post-metamorphic amphibians, causing the disease chytridiomycosis. Fungal growth within host cells has been documented by light and transmission electron microscopy; however, entry of the fungus into host cells has not. Our objective was to document how Bd enters host cells in the wood frog Lithobates sylvaticus, a species at high mortality risk for chytridiomycosis, and the bullfrog L. catesbeianus, a species at low mortality risk for chytridiomycosis. We inoculated frogs and documented infection with transmission electron microscopy. Zoospores encysted on the skin surface and produced morphologically similar germination tubes in both host species that penetrated host cell membranes and enabled transfer of zoospore contents into host cells. Documenting fungal and epidermal ultrastructure during host invasion furthers our understanding of Bd development and the pathogenesis of chytridiomycosis.


KEY WORDS: Chytridiomycosis · Morphology · Transmission electron microscopy · Lithobates catesbeianus · Lithobates sylvaticus


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Cite this article as: Greenspan SE, Longcore JE, Calhoun AJK (2012) Host invasion by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: fungal and epidermal ultrastructure in model anurans. Dis Aquat Org 100:201-210. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02483

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