Diversity, multifaceted evolution, and facultative saprotrophism in the European Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans epidemic.
While emerging fungi threaten global biodiversity, the paucity of fungal genome assemblies impedes thoroughly characterizing epidemics and developing effective mitigation strategies. Here, we generate de novo genomic assemblies for six outbreaks of the emerging pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). We reveal the European epidemic currently damaging amphibian populations to comprise multiple, highly divergent lineages demonstrating isolate-specific adaptations and metabolic capacities. In particular, we show extensive gene family expansions and acquisitions, through a variety of evolutionary mechanisms, and an isolate-specific saprotrophic lifecycle. This finding both explains the chytrid's ability to divorce transmission from host density, producing Bsal's enigmatic host population declines, and is a key consideration in developing successful mitigation measures.
|Year of Publication||
2021 11 18
|PubMed Central ID||