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Data from: Reduced skin bacterial diversity correlates with increased pathogen infection intensity in an endangered amphibian host

Citation

Ellison, Silas et al. (2018), Data from: Reduced skin bacterial diversity correlates with increased pathogen infection intensity in an endangered amphibian host, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8b83gn8

Abstract

The fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) infects the skin of amphibians, and has caused severe declines and extinctions of amphibians globally. In this study, we investigate the interaction between Bd and the bacterial skin microbiome of the endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, Rana sierrae, using both culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. Samples were collected from two populations of R. sierrae that likely underwent Bd epizootics in the past, but that continue to persist with Bd in an enzootic disease state, and we address the hypothesis that such “persistent” populations are aided by mutualistic skin microbes. Our 16S rRNA metabarcoding data reveal that the skin microbiome of highly infected juvenile frogs is characterized by significantly reduced species richness and evenness, and by strikingly lower variation between individuals, compared to juveniles and adults with lower infection levels. Over 90% of DNA sequences from the skin microbiome of highly infected frogs were derived from bacteria in a single order, Burkholderiales, compared to just 54% in frogs with lower infection levels. In a culture-dependent Bd-inhibition assay, the bacterial metabolites we evaluated all inhibited the growth of Bd. Together, these results illustrate the disruptive effects of Bd infection on host skin microbial community structure and dynamics, and suggest possible avenues for the development of anti-Bd probiotic treatments.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-11202283

Location

USA
Sierra Nevada
California