Send to

Choose Destination
ISME J. 2016 Apr;10(4):934-44. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2015.168. Epub 2015 Nov 13.

Inhibitory bacteria reduce fungi on early life stages of endangered Colorado boreal toads (Anaxyrus boreas).

Author information

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA.
BioFrontiers Institute, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA.


Increasingly, host-associated microbiota are recognized to mediate pathogen establishment, providing new ecological perspectives on health and disease. Amphibian skin-associated microbiota interact with the fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), but little is known about microbial turnover during host development and associations with host immune function. We surveyed skin microbiota of Colorado's endangered boreal toads (Anaxyrus boreas), sampling 181 toads across four life stages (tadpoles, metamorphs, subadults and adults). Our goals were to (1) understand variation in microbial community structure among individuals and sites, (2) characterize shifts in communities during development and (3) examine the prevalence and abundance of known Bd-inhibitory bacteria. We used high-throughput 16S and 18S rRNA gene sequencing (Illumina MiSeq) to characterize bacteria and microeukaryotes, respectively. Life stage had the largest effect on the toad skin microbial community, and site and Bd presence also contributed. Proteobacteria dominated tadpole microbial communities, but were later replaced by Actinobacteria. Microeukaryotes on tadpoles were dominated by the classes Alveolata and Stramenopiles, while fungal groups replaced these groups after metamorphosis. Using a novel database of Bd-inhibitory bacteria, we found fewer Bd-inhibitory bacteria in post-metamorphic stages correlated with increased skin fungi, suggesting that bacteria have a strong role in early developmental stages and reduce skin-associated fungi.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center