Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Amphibian immunity is associated with resistance to Bd

Savage and Zamudio report in PNAS that survival following infection by Bd is associated with major histocompatability genotype. Two of the five experimental infected populations of lowland leopard frogs (Lithobates yavapaiensis) had significantly elevated survival. This survival was associated with alleles at MHC class IIB and heterozygosity at the locus (see figure). This observation likely has wider significance; for instance Tobler and Schmidt have demonstrated among-population variation in survival for Swiss populations of midwives Alytes obstetricans (PLoS One). Therefore, Evolutionary Conservation, by breeding for resistance, is increasingly looking like a viable tool to combat chytridiomycosis. The hunt is on!

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