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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

    DAO prepress abstract   -  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 Groffen, Seung-Yoon Oh, Sera Kwon, Yikweon Jang, Amaël Borzée

    *Corresponding author:

    ABSTRACT: Pathogenic water molds have a significant impact on many species, especially amphibians. 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. The water molds were identified as belonging to an undescribed S. ferax strain with molecular tools. We demonstrated that the presence of Saprolegnia was positively associated with higher water conductivity and ponds. In addition, while Saprolegnia prevalence was associated with a reduction in B. gargarizans breeding activity and breeding success, we could not determine the impact of Saprolegnia presence 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.