Development of a Low-Cost, Portable Assay to Genotype Strains of the Amphibian-Killing Fungus Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis
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With the rise of the fungal pathogens like amphibian chytrids, amphibian species across the world are threatened and some populations are dwindling at an alarming rate. Increased genetic sampling of amphibian chytrids has shown more genetic diversity that was previously known. Although there are methods to identify strains by genotyping, these techniques usually involve costly laboratory equipment that is impractical in remote regions such as Ecuador, a region of high amphibian diversity. This project focuses on an efficient and low-cost method of genotyping two different strains, Bd-GPL and Bd-Brazil, using tetra-primer PCR and custom-designed genotyping assays. These assays comprise of an external PCR and then genotype specific internal PCRs. Thus far, external PCRs have been successful across several local strains of Bd, and work on the genotype specific PCRs is ongoing. In the next phase, this assay will be tested on samples collected from Ecuador, and it will be optimized for deployment in the field using portable equipment.