DAO 96:1-7 (2011)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02380

Historic occurrence of the amphibian chytrid ­fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in ­hellbender Cryptobranchus alleganiensis ­populations from Missouri

Catherine M. Bodinof1,*, Jeffrey T. Briggler2, Mary C. Duncan3, Jeff Beringer4, Joshua J. Millspaugh1

1Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA
2Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102, USA
3Department of Animal Health and Nutrition, Saint Louis Zoological Park, Saint Louis, Missouri 63110, USA
4Resource Science Center, Missouri Department of Conservation, Columbia, Missouri 65201, USA

ABSTRACT: The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) was recently detected in Missouri hellbender Cryptobranchus alleganiensis populations that have declined precipitously for unclear reasons. The objective of this study was to determine whether Bd occurred historically in Missouri hellbender populations or is a relatively novel occurrence. Epidermal tissue was removed from 216 archived hellbenders collected from 7 Missouri streams between 1896 and 1994. Histological techniques and an immunoperoxidase stain were used to confirm historic occurrence of Bd infection in hellbenders from the North Fork of the White (1969, 1973, 1975), Meramec (1975, 1986), Big Piney (1986), and Current rivers (1988). Bd was not detected in hellbenders from the Niangua, Gasconade or Eleven Point rivers. The study detected no evidence for endemism of Bd in Missouri hellbender populations prior to 1969, despite the fact that nearly one third of the hellbenders sampled were collected earlier. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that Bd is a non-endemic pathogen in North America that was introduced in the second half of the twentieth century.


KEY WORDS: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis · Chytrid · Hellbender · Cryptobranchus alleganiensis · Missouri · Amphibian decline


Full text in pdf format 
Cite this article as: Bodinof CM, Briggler JT, Duncan MC, Beringer J, Millspaugh JJ (2011) Historic occurrence of the amphibian chytrid ­fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in ­hellbender Cryptobranchus alleganiensis ­populations from Missouri. Dis Aquat Org 96:1-7. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02380

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -