High mortality in Bufo gargarizans eggs associated with an undescribed Saprolegnia ferax strain in the Republic of Korea

Jordy Groffen, Seung Yoon Oh, Sera Kwon, Yikweon Jang, Amaël Borzee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pathogenic water molds have a significant impact on many species, especially amphibians. The genus Saprolegnia is a pathogenic oomycete restricted to aquatic and moist habitats, and its presence is strongly linked to the abundance of amphibians and fishes. We investigated the influence of Saprolegnia presence on egg mortality and egg occurrence under varying environmental conditions in the Asiatic toad Bufo gargarizans at 27 breeding sites in the Republic of Korea. We then assessed the impact of Saprolegnia on the presence of B. gargarizans at the 27 sites surveyed weekly during the B. gargarizans breeding season for 3 consecutive years. We used molecular tools to identify the water molds as belonging to an undescribed S. ferax strain. We demonstrated that the presence of S. ferax was positively associated with higher water conductivity and ponds. In addition, while S. ferax prevalence was associated with a reduction in B. gargarizans breeding activity and breeding success, we could not determine its impact on the subsequent breeding seasons. Our study highlights the potential negative effects of Saprolegnia on amphibian reproduction, although additional research is necessary to determine the relationship between Saprolegnia, its hosts and the impacts of habitat loss on amphibians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-99
Number of pages11
JournalDiseases of Aquatic Organisms
Volume137
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Amphibians
  • Oomycete
  • Saprolegnia ferax
  • Toad conservation
  • Water mold
  • Water quality

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