Dr. David Rodriguez, Texas State University
October 31 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Unraveling post-invasion dynamics of the amphibian-killing fungus in Ecuadorian forests via portable genetic instrumentation
David Rodriguez, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at Texas State University
Measuring genetic diversity contributes to the delineation of operational taxonomic units, evolutionarily significant units, designation of management units, and informs evolutionary hypotheses explaining underlying patterns of diversity across a landscape. Moreover, host diversity data are needed to test for potential patterns of host specificity in the amphibian-chytrid system, which would provide insight into fine-scale host-pathogen dynamics. In understudied regions with potentially high rates of cryptic diversity, host identity is needed to more accurately estimate pathogen prevalence and host competence, the ability of a host to carry and transmit pathogens to other hosts. Therefore, our goal was to 1) sequence regions from the amphibian mitochondrial genome to perform taxonomic assignment by leveraging nanopore sequencing, and 2) to measure infection loads of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis via quantitative PCR using a small form-factor Magnetic Induction Cycler in Ecuadorian amphibian communities in situ, thus, negating the need to export samples. Our results demonstrate that rapid assessments of both host identity and pathogen infection intensity are feasible with molecular field techniques and portable equipment. These emerging methods have profound implications for capacity building and student training in developing countries.
The GGA Seminar Series is held In-Person and on Zoom: https://ncsu.zoom.us/j/99920963547?pwd=alRnK21UMDVHRVgxT2tWa3JoK1pPdz09