Abstract Title

Abiotic factors affecting chytrid (Chytridiomycota) infection rates on its host Planktothrix agardhii

Start Date

23-5-2022 5:45 PM

End Date

23-5-2022 7:00 PM

Abstract

Ryan Wagner, Katelyn McKindles and George Bullerjahn

Great Lakes Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health

Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green OH, 43403

Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie (USA) is home to recreational fishing, tourism, boating, and swimming, and is a drinking water source to about 50,000 residents. It is also plagued by annual cyanobacterial blooms. Planktothrix agardhii, which dominates Sandusky Bay, can produce microcystin toxins that are known to be harmful to humans and animals. It is important that we understand the mechanisms driving and influencing these blooms. In this study, we examine Chytridiomycota (chytrids) and how these aquatic fungi can infect P. agardhii blooms. Rhizophydium sp. are known obligate parasites to Planktothrix and these species have been found and isolated from the waters of Sandusky Bay (McKindles et al. 2021). We investigated the spatial distribution of infections along with the effect turbulence has on infectivity. In lake mesocosms, coupled with lab experiments, suggest that small amounts of water turbulence can significantly reduce the infectivity of chytrids. Additionally, there was no statistical difference in spatial distribution found in the lab experiments. This is likely due to the low water volume and position of light. Understanding different environmental conditions and the effect they have on infectivity provides valuable insights into controlling factors that may be limiting chytrid pathogenesis.

McKindles, K.M., A.N. Jorge, R.M. McKay, T.W. Davis and G.S. Bullerjahn. 2021. Isolation and characterization of Rhizophydiales sp. (Chytridiomycota), an obligate parasite of Planktothrix agardhii in a Laurentian Great Lakes embayment. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 87(4): e02308-20.

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May 23rd, 5:45 PM May 23rd, 7:00 PM

Abiotic factors affecting chytrid (Chytridiomycota) infection rates on its host Planktothrix agardhii

Ryan Wagner, Katelyn McKindles and George Bullerjahn

Great Lakes Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health

Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green OH, 43403

Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie (USA) is home to recreational fishing, tourism, boating, and swimming, and is a drinking water source to about 50,000 residents. It is also plagued by annual cyanobacterial blooms. Planktothrix agardhii, which dominates Sandusky Bay, can produce microcystin toxins that are known to be harmful to humans and animals. It is important that we understand the mechanisms driving and influencing these blooms. In this study, we examine Chytridiomycota (chytrids) and how these aquatic fungi can infect P. agardhii blooms. Rhizophydium sp. are known obligate parasites to Planktothrix and these species have been found and isolated from the waters of Sandusky Bay (McKindles et al. 2021). We investigated the spatial distribution of infections along with the effect turbulence has on infectivity. In lake mesocosms, coupled with lab experiments, suggest that small amounts of water turbulence can significantly reduce the infectivity of chytrids. Additionally, there was no statistical difference in spatial distribution found in the lab experiments. This is likely due to the low water volume and position of light. Understanding different environmental conditions and the effect they have on infectivity provides valuable insights into controlling factors that may be limiting chytrid pathogenesis.

McKindles, K.M., A.N. Jorge, R.M. McKay, T.W. Davis and G.S. Bullerjahn. 2021. Isolation and characterization of Rhizophydiales sp. (Chytridiomycota), an obligate parasite of Planktothrix agardhii in a Laurentian Great Lakes embayment. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 87(4): e02308-20.