1000-Year-Old Fungus Is Killing Off Our Frogs, Says Study

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Thanks to globalisation, an ancient stain of fungi has recently escaped its niche and is now suspected of killing off many of the world’s frogs. This is according to a new genetic analysis of chytrid fungus, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which is the latest in a long line of research, dating back to the 80s, since the frogs started going extinct in Australia and South America.

According to Australian team member Dr Lee Berger, of James Cook University in Townsville, ‘It’s an older strain that has spread into new areas. The most likely reason for the spread is trade.’ As part of her PhD under Professor Rick Speare, Berger was the first to identify chytrid fungus in the bodies of many dead frogs back in 1998, and her subsequent 2011 genetic analysis indicated that the global pandemic strain of chytrid fungus had only…

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