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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 83:1-9 (2009)  -  DOI:

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a novel pathogen approaching endemism in central California

Gretchen E. Padgett-Flohr*, Robert L. Hopkins II

Department of Zoology, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Carbondale, Illinois 62901, USA

ABSTRACT: The recent emergence of amphibian chytridiomycosis has precipitated competing hypotheses regarding the endemic versus novel nature of the causative agent, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). We conducted a retrospective survey of the California Academy of Sciences’ (San Francisco, California, USA) amphibian collection, testing for presence of Bd in 4 amphibian species collected from central California between 1897 and 2005. The earliest detection of Bd was found in 2 Rana catesbeiana in 1961, and the data support the hypothesis that Bd was a novel pathogen introduced into central California prior to 1961 that spread out geographically and taxonomically from at least one central location and is now endemic throughout most of central California. The taxonomic pattern of infection prevalence and the ecological constraints of the 4 species we tested suggest that, although Bd was initially detected in R. catesbeiana, the more efficient and most likely local vector for Bd in central California is actually Pseudacris regilla.

KEY WORDS: Chytridiomycosis · Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis · Rana draytonii · Natural history collections · Pseudacris regilla · R. catesbeiana · R. boylii · Co-kriging

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Cite this article as: Padgett-Flohr GE, Hopkins RL II (2009) Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a novel pathogen approaching endemism in central California. Dis Aquat Org 83:1-9.

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