alexa Possible biological control discovered for pathogen devastating amphibians

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Possible biological control discovered for pathogen devastating amphibians

Zoologists have discovered that a freshwater species of zooplankton will eat a fungal pathogen which is devastating amphibian populations around the world. It could provide a desperately needed tool for biological control of this deadly fungus. This tiny zooplankton, called Daphnia magna, could provide a desperately needed tool for biological control of this deadly fungus, the scientists said, if field studies confirm its efficacy in a natural setting. The fungus, B. dendrobatidis, is referred to as a "chytrid" fungus, and when it reaches high levels can disrupt electrolyte balance and lead to death from cardiac arrest in its amphibian hosts. One researcher has called its impact on amphibians "the most spectacular loss of vertebrate biodiversity due to disease in recorded history." There was evidence that zooplankton would eat some other types of fungi, so we wanted to find out if Daphnia would consume the chytrid fungus.

 
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