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Chytrid Fungus in Amphibians in northern NY

Amphibians are under threat of extinction from many directions including climate change, habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as disease. In particular, chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and ranavirus are major sources of global amphibian decline. Chytrid fungus results in keratinization of the amphibian's skin, thereby impacting their ability to breathe and reducing survival. In the summer 2015, students and I commenced an assay of local wetlands (e.g., ephemeral ponds, wildlife management areas, reservoirs) while performing our tick sampling. We used sterile swabs to acquire samples of epithelial and potential fungal spores from amphibians we encountered (thus far northern leopard frogs, newts, green frogs, and American toads). We extracted DNA using Qiagen spin columns and are working on optimizing the BD and ITS-1 PCRs.

Stay tuned for our preliminary results...

Grace DeSantis with northern leopard frog at Pt au Roche
Adolfo Paulo de Mattos Junior with northern leopard frog
 
Adolfo Paulo de Mattos Junior attempting to catch frogs at Ausable Marsh WMA
northern leopard frogs are abundant in Clinton Cty NY
Green frog in an ephemeral pond at Rugar Woods...we were excited!
Adolfo trying to capture said green frog from ephemeral pond at Rugar Woods:)
 another green frog
 Adolfo and Grace with amphibian
About to swab this American toad at Rugar Woods
 Swabbing this leopard frog
 Adolfo sampling amphibians at Pt Au Roche park