Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis strain affects transcriptomic response in liver but not skin in latitudinal populations of the common toad (Bufo bufo).

Chondrelli N, Kuehn E, Meurling S, Cortázar-Chinarro M, Laurila A, Höglund J

Sci Rep 14 (1) 2495 [2024-01-30; online 2024-01-30]

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a fungal pathogen that has decimated amphibian populations worldwide for several decades. We examined the changes in gene expression in response to Bd infection in two populations of the common toad, Bufo bufo, in a laboratory experiment. We collected B. bufo eggs in southern and northern Sweden, and infected the laboratory-raised metamorphs with two strains of the global panzoonotic lineage Bd-GPL. Differential expression analysis showed significant differences between infected and control individuals in both liver and skin. The skin samples showed no discernible differences in gene expression between the two strains used, while liver samples were differentiated by strain, with one of the strains eliciting no immune response from infected toads. Immune system genes were overexpressed in skin samples from surviving infected individuals, while in liver samples the pattern was more diffuse. Splitting samples by population revealed a stronger immune response in northern individuals. Differences in transcriptional regulation between populations are particularly relevant to study in Swedish amphibians, which may have experienced varying exposure to Bd. Earlier exposure to this pathogen and subsequent adaptation or selection pressure may contribute to the survival of some populations over others, while standing genetic diversity in different populations may also affect the infection outcome.

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PubMed 38291226

DOI 10.1038/s41598-024-52975-8

Crossref 10.1038/s41598-024-52975-8

pmc: PMC10828426
pii: 10.1038/s41598-024-52975-8

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