|Title / Titel||Field survey and conservation significance of microbial diversity on amphibian skin|
|Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)|
|Summary / Zusammenfassung||Symbiotic microbiota such as bacteria and fungi that benefit animal hosts are widespread and function in provision of nutrients, exclusion of pathogens, and development of immune function. Microbial symbionts on amphibian skin can extend the host innate defenses against infection from pathogens such as the globally emerging fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), linked to population extinctions. In Canton Baselland, the common midwife toad, Alytes obstetricans may be at risk of population declines caused by Bd. Very little is known about the microbial communities associated with midwife toads, their immune defences, or the susceptibility of this species to disease at various life-history stages. Understanding the mechanisms of disease resistance will significantly improve conservation strategies for this and other species.
The central hypothesis is that midwife toads possess innate defence mechanisms that are transmitted from parent to offspring. Symbiotic microbiota of toads may be uniquely adapted to survive the antimicrobial defenses of the host, and integrated with host defences to resist infection by pathogens such as Bd.
|Keywords / Suchbegriffe||Alytes obstetricans, midwife toad, chytridiomycosis, microbiota, innate immunity, conservation, amphibian|
|Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
|Other links to external web pages||http://www.savethefrogs.com/who-we-are/doug_woodhams.html|
|Funding source(s) /
|Other Public Sources (e.g. Federal or Cantonal Agencies)
|Duration of Project / Projektdauer||Jul 2009 to May 2012|