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Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis gen. et sp. nov., a Chytrid Pathogenic to Amphibians

Joyce E. Longcore, Allan P. Pessier and Donald K. Nichols
Mycologia
Vol. 91, No. 2 (Mar. - Apr., 1999), pp. 219-227
DOI: 10.2307/3761366
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3761366
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis gen. et sp. nov., a Chytrid Pathogenic to Amphibians
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Abstract

Captive and wild frogs from North and Central America and Australia recently have died with epidermal infections by chytridiomycete fungi. We isolated a chytridiomycete into pure culture from a captive, blue poison dart frog that died at the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. Using this isolate, we photographed developmental stages on nutrient agar, examined zoospores with transmission electron microscopy, and inoculated test frogs. This inoperculate chytrid develops either monocentrically or colonially and has thread-like rhizoids that arise from single or multiple areas on the developing zoosporangium. The taxonomically important features of the kinetosomal region of the zoospore indicate that this chytrid is a member of the Chytridiales but differs from other chytrids studied with transmission electron microscopy. Its microtubule root, which begins at kinetosome triplets 9-1 and extends parallel to the kinetosome into the aggregation of ribosomes, is distinctive. Histologic examination of test frogs revealed that the pure culture infected the skin of test frogs, whereas the skin of control frogs remained free of infection. The fungus is described as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis gen. et sp. nov.

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