Morphological and molecular characterizations of psychrophilic fungus Geomyces destructans from New York bats with white nose syndrome (WNS)

Vishnu Chaturvedi, Deborah J. Springer, Melissa J. Behr, Rama Ramani, Xiaojiang Li, Marcia K. Peck, Ping Ren, Dianna J. Bopp, Britta Wood, William A. Samsonoff, Calvin M. Butchkoski, Alan C. Hicks, Ward B. Stone, Robert J. Rudd, Sudha Chaturvedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Massive die-offs of little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) have been occurring since 2006 in hibernation sites around Albany, New York, and this problem has spread to other States in the Northeastern United States. White cottony fungal growth is seen on the snouts of affected animals, a prominent sign of White Nose Syndrome (WNS). A previous report described the involvement of the fungus Geomyces destructans in WNS, but an identical fungus was recently isolated in France from a bat that was evidently healthy. The fungus has been recovered sparsely despite plentiful availability of afflicted animals. Methodology/Principal Findings: We have investigated 100 bat and environmental samples from eight affected sites in 2008. Our findings provide strong evidence for an etiologic role of G. destructans in bat WNS. (i) Direct smears from bat snouts, Periodic Acid Schiff-stained tissue sections from infected tissues, and scanning electron micrographs of bat tissues all showed fungal structures similar to those of G. destructans. (ii) G. destructans DNA was directly amplified from infected bat tissues, (iii) Isolations of G. destructans in cultures from infected bat tissues showed 100% DNA match with the fungus present in positive tissue samples. (iv) RAPD patterns for all G. destructans cultures isolated from two sites were indistinguishable. (v) The fungal isolates showed psychrophilic growth. (vi) We identified in vitro proteolytic activities suggestive of known fungal pathogenic traits in G. destructans. Conclusions/Significance: Further studies are needed to understand whether G. destructans WNS is a symptom or a trigger for bat mass mortality. The availability of well-characterized G. destructans strains should promote an understanding of bat- fungus relationships, and should aid in the screening of biological and chemical control agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere10783
JournalPLoS One
Volume5
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

psychrophilic fungi
Fungi
Nose
Chiroptera
Tissue
fungi
Animals
Availability
Periodic Acid
DNA
Fungal Structures
Pseudogymnoascus destructans
white-nose syndrome
Biological Control Agents
Screening
Hibernation
New England
Northeastern United States
Scanning
hibernation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Morphological and molecular characterizations of psychrophilic fungus Geomyces destructans from New York bats with white nose syndrome (WNS). / Chaturvedi, Vishnu; Springer, Deborah J.; Behr, Melissa J.; Ramani, Rama; Li, Xiaojiang; Peck, Marcia K.; Ren, Ping; Bopp, Dianna J.; Wood, Britta; Samsonoff, William A.; Butchkoski, Calvin M.; Hicks, Alan C.; Stone, Ward B.; Rudd, Robert J.; Chaturvedi, Sudha.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 5, No. 5, e10783, 2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chaturvedi, V, Springer, DJ, Behr, MJ, Ramani, R, Li, X, Peck, MK, Ren, P, Bopp, DJ, Wood, B, Samsonoff, WA, Butchkoski, CM, Hicks, AC, Stone, WB, Rudd, RJ & Chaturvedi, S 2010, 'Morphological and molecular characterizations of psychrophilic fungus Geomyces destructans from New York bats with white nose syndrome (WNS)', PLoS One, vol. 5, no. 5, e10783. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010783
Chaturvedi, Vishnu ; Springer, Deborah J. ; Behr, Melissa J. ; Ramani, Rama ; Li, Xiaojiang ; Peck, Marcia K. ; Ren, Ping ; Bopp, Dianna J. ; Wood, Britta ; Samsonoff, William A. ; Butchkoski, Calvin M. ; Hicks, Alan C. ; Stone, Ward B. ; Rudd, Robert J. ; Chaturvedi, Sudha. / Morphological and molecular characterizations of psychrophilic fungus Geomyces destructans from New York bats with white nose syndrome (WNS). In: PLoS One. 2010 ; Vol. 5, No. 5.
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abstract = "Background: Massive die-offs of little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) have been occurring since 2006 in hibernation sites around Albany, New York, and this problem has spread to other States in the Northeastern United States. White cottony fungal growth is seen on the snouts of affected animals, a prominent sign of White Nose Syndrome (WNS). A previous report described the involvement of the fungus Geomyces destructans in WNS, but an identical fungus was recently isolated in France from a bat that was evidently healthy. The fungus has been recovered sparsely despite plentiful availability of afflicted animals. Methodology/Principal Findings: We have investigated 100 bat and environmental samples from eight affected sites in 2008. Our findings provide strong evidence for an etiologic role of G. destructans in bat WNS. (i) Direct smears from bat snouts, Periodic Acid Schiff-stained tissue sections from infected tissues, and scanning electron micrographs of bat tissues all showed fungal structures similar to those of G. destructans. (ii) G. destructans DNA was directly amplified from infected bat tissues, (iii) Isolations of G. destructans in cultures from infected bat tissues showed 100{\%} DNA match with the fungus present in positive tissue samples. (iv) RAPD patterns for all G. destructans cultures isolated from two sites were indistinguishable. (v) The fungal isolates showed psychrophilic growth. (vi) We identified in vitro proteolytic activities suggestive of known fungal pathogenic traits in G. destructans. Conclusions/Significance: Further studies are needed to understand whether G. destructans WNS is a symptom or a trigger for bat mass mortality. The availability of well-characterized G. destructans strains should promote an understanding of bat- fungus relationships, and should aid in the screening of biological and chemical control agents.",
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AU - Chaturvedi, Vishnu

AU - Springer, Deborah J.

AU - Behr, Melissa J.

AU - Ramani, Rama

AU - Li, Xiaojiang

AU - Peck, Marcia K.

AU - Ren, Ping

AU - Bopp, Dianna J.

AU - Wood, Britta

AU - Samsonoff, William A.

AU - Butchkoski, Calvin M.

AU - Hicks, Alan C.

AU - Stone, Ward B.

AU - Rudd, Robert J.

AU - Chaturvedi, Sudha

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - Background: Massive die-offs of little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) have been occurring since 2006 in hibernation sites around Albany, New York, and this problem has spread to other States in the Northeastern United States. White cottony fungal growth is seen on the snouts of affected animals, a prominent sign of White Nose Syndrome (WNS). A previous report described the involvement of the fungus Geomyces destructans in WNS, but an identical fungus was recently isolated in France from a bat that was evidently healthy. The fungus has been recovered sparsely despite plentiful availability of afflicted animals. Methodology/Principal Findings: We have investigated 100 bat and environmental samples from eight affected sites in 2008. Our findings provide strong evidence for an etiologic role of G. destructans in bat WNS. (i) Direct smears from bat snouts, Periodic Acid Schiff-stained tissue sections from infected tissues, and scanning electron micrographs of bat tissues all showed fungal structures similar to those of G. destructans. (ii) G. destructans DNA was directly amplified from infected bat tissues, (iii) Isolations of G. destructans in cultures from infected bat tissues showed 100% DNA match with the fungus present in positive tissue samples. (iv) RAPD patterns for all G. destructans cultures isolated from two sites were indistinguishable. (v) The fungal isolates showed psychrophilic growth. (vi) We identified in vitro proteolytic activities suggestive of known fungal pathogenic traits in G. destructans. Conclusions/Significance: Further studies are needed to understand whether G. destructans WNS is a symptom or a trigger for bat mass mortality. The availability of well-characterized G. destructans strains should promote an understanding of bat- fungus relationships, and should aid in the screening of biological and chemical control agents.

AB - Background: Massive die-offs of little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) have been occurring since 2006 in hibernation sites around Albany, New York, and this problem has spread to other States in the Northeastern United States. White cottony fungal growth is seen on the snouts of affected animals, a prominent sign of White Nose Syndrome (WNS). A previous report described the involvement of the fungus Geomyces destructans in WNS, but an identical fungus was recently isolated in France from a bat that was evidently healthy. The fungus has been recovered sparsely despite plentiful availability of afflicted animals. Methodology/Principal Findings: We have investigated 100 bat and environmental samples from eight affected sites in 2008. Our findings provide strong evidence for an etiologic role of G. destructans in bat WNS. (i) Direct smears from bat snouts, Periodic Acid Schiff-stained tissue sections from infected tissues, and scanning electron micrographs of bat tissues all showed fungal structures similar to those of G. destructans. (ii) G. destructans DNA was directly amplified from infected bat tissues, (iii) Isolations of G. destructans in cultures from infected bat tissues showed 100% DNA match with the fungus present in positive tissue samples. (iv) RAPD patterns for all G. destructans cultures isolated from two sites were indistinguishable. (v) The fungal isolates showed psychrophilic growth. (vi) We identified in vitro proteolytic activities suggestive of known fungal pathogenic traits in G. destructans. Conclusions/Significance: Further studies are needed to understand whether G. destructans WNS is a symptom or a trigger for bat mass mortality. The availability of well-characterized G. destructans strains should promote an understanding of bat- fungus relationships, and should aid in the screening of biological and chemical control agents.

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