In a collaborative effort between scientists and personnel on military bases in 31 states in the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico, researchers surveyed for an infection caused by an emerging fungal pathogen that afflicts snakes. The effort found infected snakes on military bases in 19 states and Puerto Rico, demonstrating that the fungus is more widely distributed than was previously known. The team reports the findings in the journal PLOS ONE.
“Ophidiomycosis — formerly known as ‘snake fungal disease’ — is an emerging infectious disease caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophidiicola,” said Dr. Matt Allender, a professor in the veterinary diagnostic laboratory at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who led the new study. “It has been documented in over 15 genera of wild and captive snakes. Infection with the pathogen causes a wide range of clinical signs in snakes, from difficulty shedding skin, to crusts and ulcers on the
Widespread fungal disease in plants can be controlled with a commercially available chemical that has been primarily used in medicine until now. This discovery was made by scientists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the University of the State of Paraná in Brazil. In a comprehensive experiment the team has uncovered a new metabolic pathway that can be disrupted with this chemical, thus preventing many known plant fungi from invading the host plant. The team reported on their study in the scientific journal Phytopathology.
The fungus Colletotrichum graminicola is prevalent around the world. It infects maize, causing anthracnose, a disease that causes the plant’s leaves to turn yellow at first and then ultimately to succumb to toxins. The fungus multiplies through spores that initially land on the surface of the plant. There they find rather inhospitable conditions: a lack of most of the nutrients that fungi need to