The fungus that may cripple the banana industry

“Can science stop the looming banana extinction?”

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Photo from CNN article

In addition to the well studied banana pathogenic fungus Fusarium oxysporumPseudocercospora fijiensis is another pathogenic Ascomycete which threatens the Cavendish Bananas. The common name for P. fijensis is “Black sigatoka”. Heres a link to the Mycobank page where you can learn more about the fungus if you’re interested.

 

National Geographic on the frog-killing fungus:Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

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Photo from National Geographic cover

The article from 2012 discusses infection biology and alternative hosts for this deadly fungal pathogen. At the time, nearly 300 species had been pushed to the brink of extinction by B. dendrobatis. Does anyone remember this edition? Heres a link the PNAS Paper  by MacMahon et al. 2012 where they detail the pathogen reservoir in crayfish and how B. dendrobatidis releases a chemical that can cause host pathology, even in the absence of infection. Heres a link to the Mycobank page for Batrachochytrium.  And lastly another recent paper suggesting B. dendrobatidis disturbs the frog skin microbiome.