Local phenotypic variation in amphibian-killing fungus predicts infection dynamics

Carolina Lambertini, C. Guilherme Becker, Thomas S. Jenkinson, David Rodriguez, Domingos da Silva Leite, Timothy Y. James, Kelly R. Zamudio, Luís Felipe Toledo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Environmental factors can limit the distribution of organisms if they are not able to respond through phenotypic plasticity or local adaptation. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a broadly distributed pathogen, which shows spatially patterned genotypic and phenotypic variation; however, information on the functional consequences of this variation on disease dynamics in natural hosts is limited. We genotyped and quantified variation in Bd phenotypes across an elevational gradient and quantified host infection dynamics at each site. All Bd strains were members of the global panzootic lineage yet differed in phenotype. We hypothesize that this phenotypic variance results from adaptive processes due to the interaction between pathogen, hosts, and environment. We detected a correlation between zoospore and zoosporangia sizes and a positive association between zoosporangia size and Bd prevalence. Given that Bd phenotype predicted disease status in our wild populations, we developed an index to identify critical environments where the fungus could be more deleterious.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalFungal Ecology
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Plant Science


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