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Amphibian-killing fungus: is one gene family responsible for the downfall of frogs?

The authors of a study in mBio this week examined the genomes of two Bd isolates to find clues about its pathogenicity, reasoning that the Bd genome must bear the marks of restructuring to adapt to its new environmental niche and exploit its amphibian hosts. Compared with its fellow phylum members, Bd genomes have some significant differences that may lead to a better understanding of how this devastating fungus works.
Compared with its fellow phylum members, Bd genomes have an expanded number of genes in the Carbohydrate-Binding Module Family 18 (CBM18), a family of proteins linked to pathogenicity in other fungal species. The expansions have been limited to three categories of genes, each of which has been implicated in host-pathogen interactions in the past.
Click on the "source" link to read more on mBio's blog, mBiosphere.

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