Complex history of the amphibian-killing chytrid fungus revealed with genome resequencing data

Rosenblum, Erica Bree, James, Timothy Y., Zamudio, Kelly R., Poorten, Thomas J., Ilut, Dan, Rodriguez, David, Eastman, Jonathan M., Richards-Hrdlicka, Katy, Joneson, Suzanne, Jenkinson, Thomas S., Longcore, Joyce E., Parra Olea, Gabriela, Toledo, Lus Felipe, Luz Arellano, Maria, Medina, Edgar M., Restrepo, Silvia, Victoria Flechas, Sandra, Berger, Lee, Briggs, Cheryl J., and Stajich, Jason E. (2013) Complex history of the amphibian-killing chytrid fungus revealed with genome resequencing data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110 (23). pp. 9385-9390.

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Abstract

Understanding the evolutionary history of microbial pathogens is critical for mitigating the impacts of emerging infectious diseases on economically and ecologically important host species. We used a genome resequencing approach to resolve the evolutionary history of an important microbial pathogen, the chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has been implicated in amphibian declines worldwide. We sequenced the genomes of 29 isolates of Bd from around the world, with an emphasis on North, Central, and South America because of the devastating effect that Bd has had on amphibian populations in the New World. We found a substantial amount of evolutionary complexity in Bd with deep phylogenetic diversity that predates observed global amphibian declines. By investigating the entire genome, we found that even the most recently evolved Bd clade (termed the global panzootic lineage) contained more genetic variation than previously reported. We also found dramatic differences among isolates and among genomic regions in chromosomal copy number and patterns of heterozygosity, suggesting complex and heterogeneous genome dynamics. Finally, we report evidence for selection acting on the Bd genome, supporting the hypothesis that protease genes are important in evolutionary transitions in this group. Bd is considered an emerging pathogen because of its recent effects on amphibians, but our data indicate that it has a complex evolutionary history that predates recent disease outbreaks. Therefore, it is important to consider the contemporary effects of Bd in a broader evolutionary context and identify specific mechanisms that may have led to shifts in virulence in this system.

Item ID: 29043
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1091-6490
Keywords: batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, chytridiomycosis, genetics, PCR
Funders: National Science Foundation, Cornell Center for Comparative Population Genetics
Projects and Grants: EF-0723871, IOS- 0825355
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2013 05:30
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060409 Molecular Evolution @ 25%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060503 Microbial Genetics @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060505 Mycology @ 25%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960405 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
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