Researchers may have finally solved the mystery of the fungal pathogen that has been devastating amphibian populations worldwide. The fungus, known as Batrachonchytrium dendrobatisdis (Bd), appears to alter the permeability of amphibian skin, which can lead to a fatal osmotic imbalance, according to a study published this week in Science.
"It's a great study," said ecologist linkurl:Karen Lips;http://chemlife.umd.edu/facultyresearch/facultydirectory/karenrlips of the University of Maryland, who did not participate in the research. "It's another small step forward in the hope that we can maybe save some amphibians." Bd can spread rapidly through amphibian populations and has been blamed for numerous extinctions around the globe. The mechanism by which the fungus killed these animals, however, was unknown. Histological preparations of the skin of infected frogs showed clear signs of infection, but other known cutaneous infections are...
infected with chytridiomycosis.
Image: Jamie Voyles, Alex
Hyatt and Frank Fillipi
Interested in reading more?
Become a Member of
Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!