Investigating motility performance of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis zoospores and its association with mitochondrial density and pathogenicity
Jackson, Devlin B.
Chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has spread globally and demonstrates high genetic diversity amongst multiple strains. I investigated the use of a mitochondrial SNP in a digital PCR assay to evaluate the variance in copy number between isolates and compare it to a qPCR assay that is the current standard protocol for determining pathogen load of Bd on host amphibians. I also tested for differences in mitochondrial density in Texas isolates using TEM and confocal microscopy. Furthermore I used a timed series of images taken with the confocal to compare zoospore motility performance of between isolates. To determine if susceptibility differs between strains of Bd isolated from Texas with differing motility performance, I conducted an infection experiment on twenty-seven northern cricket frogs (Acris crepitans). The frogs were divided into two experimental groups (n = 10 in each) and one control group (n = 7). The two experimental groups were each inoculated twice with local Bd isolates TXST002 and TXST015 (Bd GPL) and a third time with isolate BAF038 (BdASIA-2/BdBRAZIL). My results show that Acris crepitans is highly resistant to chytridiomycosis, which indicates that they may serve as potential Bd super-spreader in the wild.
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Acris crepitans, Mitochondria, Motility
Jackson, D. B. (2020). <i>Investigating motility performance of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis zoospores and its association with mitochondrial density and pathogenicity</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.