Origin and discovery of Geomyces destructans Information about Geomyces destructans Impact of the fungus on host bats
Most widely excepted hypothesis is that Geomyces destructans originated from Europe.
In a study tracing the origins of Geomyces destructans photographs of hibernating bats were examined. They found multiple photos of bats across Europe that had white fuzzy patches on their muzzle. Bats in Europe are not affected by Geomyces destuctans. Spores found on the cave walls in Europe.
In 2006, surveys were conducted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. They discovered that little brown bats in New York were dying off in large numbers due to a fungus. The fungus was named Geomyces destructans which has recently been renamed to Pseudogymnoascus destructans through DNA sequencing.
From cave to cave by cavers who accidentally picked up the spores from an infected cave. Between the contact of an infected bat and a non-infected bat. Indirect transfer of spores from an infected bat to the cave walls to a non infected bat.
Cold weather fungus Named white-nosed syndrome because of the white colored fungal growth it causes on the bats’ nose, ears, and/or wing membranes Morphology changes with respect to temperature Does not require bats to persist
Little brown bat infected with Geomyces destructans
Growth at 7°C Growth at 12°C Growth at 15°C and 18° C Morphology of Geomyces destructans at Various Temperatures
Who - Eleven bat species (all of which hibernate ) - Most impacted species is the little brown bat Where - North eastern states - In Canada the providences of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec
Invades and uses the bat’s skin as a source of nutrients The fungus causes the bats to wake up more frequently during hibernation, which uses up more energy. More than likely, infected bats will die
Resent studies, showed that bats infected with Geomyces destructans fully recovered when provided human supportive care. Providing manmade warmer areas to reduce energy loss Treating the bats with anti-fungal agents Closing caves off from humans.
They eat insects Economically important Future impact on pollinator bats in the south (Arizona and New Mexico)
Geomyces destructans is a fungus that prefers cold climates to grow. Its primary hosts are bats, although it can grow in soil and cave walls. It causes damage to the host bats wings membrane, muzzle, and ears. More studies needs to be conducted so that an economically important group of species do not go extinct.
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