It is way back in 1970’s and 1980’s, certain representatives of the amphibian world, most notably the frogs were disappearing. No one knew the reason for such disappearance. It was only in the year 1999 that the researchers were successful in tracing the actual reason behind the entire scenario. It is the deadly disease caused by a group of fungi known as the Chytrid fungus. The fungi infect the amphibians with its tiny swimming spores.
The disease today is known by the name of the Chytridiomycosis. It is one of the deadliest pathogen known to date. It is the causative agent to infect a pool of the amphibians, and responsible for wiping off the majority of the frog species. Many of the amphibians find their applications in controlling both the insects and the diseases. They are the major contributors to the biodiversity.
The scientists for decades were in search of the culprit for the entire extinction scenario. The research fraternity involved in the current study has analyzed about one hundred and seventy-seven samples of the deadly fungus which they obtained from six continents. Their analysis concludes that the most lethal pathogen is the native of the Korean Peninsula. It is flourishing there for past fifty to hundred years and is known to escape the frontiers by global trade.
The research study finds its way in the journal named Science. The paper highlights the presence of the multi-strain of the Chytrid fungus, with varying degrees of virulence factors.
The previous study was limited to the scrappy bits of the Chytrid fungus’s DNA. It was cultured using a cotton swab from the dermal layer of the frog or the Salamander.
Simon O’Hanlon and Matthew Fisherand, their research team, sequenced full genomes of the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis or Bd from different parts of the world. The team found that the genomes resemble the genetic information obtained from the dermal samples of the frogs living in the Korean Peninsula. Simon O’Hanlon and Matthew Fisherand are the infectious disease epidemiologists at Imperial College London.