Evidence for acquisition of virulence effectors in pathogenic chytrids

Sun, Guiling, Yang, Zefeng, Kosch, Tiffany, Summers, Kyle, and Huang, Jinling (2011) Evidence for acquisition of virulence effectors in pathogenic chytrids. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 11. 195. pp. 1-9.

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Abstract

Background: The decline in amphibian populations across the world is frequently linked to the infection of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). This is particularly perplexing because Bd was only recently discovered in 1999 and no chytrid fungus had previously been identified as a vertebrate pathogen.

Results: In this study, we show that two large families of known virulence effector genes, crinkler (CRN) proteins and serine peptidases, were acquired by Bd from oomycete pathogens and bacteria, respectively. These two families have been duplicated after their acquisition by Bd. Additional selection analyses indicate that both families evolved under strong positive selection, suggesting that they are involved in the adaptation of Bd to its hosts.

Conclusions: We propose that the acquisition of virulence effectors, in combination with habitat disruption and climate change, may have driven the Bd epidemics and the decline in amphibian populations. This finding provides a starting point for biochemical investigations of chytridiomycosis.

Item ID: 43977
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2148
Additional Information:

© 2011 Sun et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funders: National Science Foundation (NSF) Assembling the Tree of Life (ATOL)
Projects and Grants: NSF ATOL grant DEB 0830024
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2016 07:36
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060399 Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified @ 33%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060409 Molecular Evolution @ 34%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060505 Mycology @ 33%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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