Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bacterially produced antifungal on skin of amphibians may protect against lethal fungus

Date:
November 20, 2009
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
A new study suggests that naturally occurring bacteria on the skin of salamanders could help protect other amphibians, including some species of endangered frogs, from a lethal skin disease.

A new study suggests that naturally occurring bacteria on the skin of salamanders could help protect other amphibians, including some species of endangered frogs, from a lethal skin disease. The researchers from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee report their findings in the November 2009 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Related Articles


Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a fungal pathogen that can cause a lethal skin disease in amphibians, however, some species remain relatively symptom free during infection. Innate immune factors, antimicrobial peptides, skin-associated microbial species, and behavior are all believed to attribute to the survival of some species over others. Researchers have found antifungal microbes to be of particular interest because their presence suggests they are mutualistic associates of amphibian species, meaning that there is a mutually beneficial relationship between the two organisms.

In a prior study Janthinobacterium lividum was identified as a bacterium that produces the anti-B. dendrobatidis metabolite violacein. Violacien was found on three of seven wild-collected red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) at concentration levels capable of inhibiting B. dendrobatidis, indicating a mutualistic community of violacein-producing bacteria. In this study researchers added J. lividum to the same species of red-backed salamanders and then exposed them to B. dendrobatidis. Results showed that adding J. lividum to the skin of the salamander increased the concentration levels of violacein already present and contributed to survival following experimental exposure to the fungus.

"Our study suggests that a threshold violacein concentration of about 18 μM on a salamander's skin prevents mortality and morbidity caused by B. dendrobatidis," say the researchers. "We show that over one-half of individuals in nature support antifungal bacteria that produce violacein, which suggests that there is a mutualism between violacein-producing bacteria and P. cinereus and that adding J. lividum is effective for protecting individuals that lack violacein-producing skin bacteria.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M.H. Becker, R.M. Brucker, C.R. Schwantes, R.N. Harris, K.P. Minbiole. The Bacterially Produced Metabolite Violacein Is Associated with Survival of Amphibians Infected with a Lethal Fungus. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2009; 75 (21): 6635 DOI: 10.1128/AEM.01294-09

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Bacterially produced antifungal on skin of amphibians may protect against lethal fungus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119212100.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2009, November 20). Bacterially produced antifungal on skin of amphibians may protect against lethal fungus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119212100.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Bacterially produced antifungal on skin of amphibians may protect against lethal fungus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119212100.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) A frog noticed by a conservationist on New York's Staten Island has been confirmed as a new species after extensive study and genetic testing. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A 20-year-old competition surfer said on Thursday he accidentally stepped on a shark's head before it bit him off the Australian east coast. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Endangered Carpathian Ponies Are Making a Comeback in Poland

Endangered Carpathian Ponies Are Making a Comeback in Poland

AFP (Oct. 29, 2014) At the foot of the rugged Carpathian mountains near the Polish-Ukrainian border, ranchers and scientists are trying to protect the Carpathian pony, known as the Hucul in Polish. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tiny, Lab-Grown Stomachs Could Treat Stomach Diseases

Tiny, Lab-Grown Stomachs Could Treat Stomach Diseases

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) The researchers grew tiny stomachs using stem cells, saying the research could lead to better treatment for ulcers and even stomach cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins