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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 137:89-99 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03434

High mortality in Bufo gargarizans eggs associated with an undescribed Saprolegnia ferax strain in the Republic of Korea

Jordy Groffen1,2, Seung-Yoon Oh3, Sera Kwon1, Yikweon Jang1, Amaël Borzée4,*

1Department of Life Sciences and Division of EcoScience, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 04096, ROK
2Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA
3School of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, ROK
4College of Biology and the Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, PR China
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Pathogenic water molds have a significant impact on many species, especially amphibians. The genus Saprolegnia is a pathogenic oomycete restricted to aquatic and moist habitats, and its presence is strongly linked to the abundance of amphibians and fishes. We investigated the influence of Saprolegnia presence on egg mortality and egg occurrence under varying environmental conditions in the Asiatic toad Bufo gargarizans at 27 breeding sites in the Republic of Korea. We then assessed the impact of Saprolegnia on the presence of B. gargarizans at the 27 sites surveyed weekly during the B. gargarizans breeding season for 3 consecutive years. We used molecular tools to identify the water molds as belonging to an undescribed S. ferax strain. We demonstrated that the presence of S. ferax was positively associated with higher water conductivity and ponds. In addition, while S. ferax prevalence was associated with a reduction in B. gargarizans breeding activity and breeding success, we could not determine its impact on the subsequent breeding seasons. Our study highlights the potential negative effects of Saprolegnia on amphibian reproduction, although additional research is necessary to determine the relationship between Saprolegnia, its hosts and the impacts of habitat loss on amphibians.


KEY WORDS: Water mold · Oomycete · Saprolegnia ferax · Amphibians · Water quality ·Toad conservation


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Cite this article as: Groffen J, Oh SY, Kwon S, Jang Y, Borzée A (2019) High mortality in Bufo gargarizans eggs associated with an undescribed Saprolegnia ferax strain in the Republic of Korea. Dis Aquat Org 137:89-99. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03434

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