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Fungus killing frogs trailed back to Korea, concerns over pet-trade



Scientists followed the origins of the deadly chytrid fungus that has been attacking the frog, toad and salamander populations of the Korean Peninsula in recent decades. The discovery provides an additional argument against the pet trade, especially for amphibians from East Asia. Joaquin Sarmiento / AFP / Getty Images )

Scientists have traced the origins of a killer frog mushroom, which also attacks toads and salamanders, on the Korean Peninsula, where it probably emerged in the early 20th century 20. Century

The discovery, in addition to the definitive determination of the origin of the fatal disease, raises concerns about the pet trade in amphibians.

The Origin of the Chytrid Mushroom

In recent decades, frog, toad, and salamander populations have been attacked by the deadly chytridiomycosis disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. The amphibians suffered from sudden and significant deaths, prompting the search for the source of the killer mushroom.

A team of scientists has now identified East Asia, more specifically the Korean Peninsula, as the source of chytrid fungus analysis of samples collected from both captive and wild amphibians. The results of the group have been published in the journal Science

The Chytrid mushroom is a deadly disease for frogs, toads and salamanders, and it can cause extinction. It occurs in the form of a skin infection between the animals that causes chytridiomycosis, which affects the ability of amphibians to regulate water and electrolytes. With clogged pores, the blood chemistry is impaired and the brains swell, resulting in heart failure of the infected animals.

The scientists found that there were four major genetic lineages for the chytrid fungus. Three of the species are found all over the world, but the fourth species is found only among native frogs living in Korea. All tribes also shared the genetic code with that of the Korean peninsula, suggesting that the pathogen started there.

In addition, genetic analysis has shown that the prevalence of the disease has risen sharply between 50 and 1

20 years, which coincides with the expansion of international trade

Chytrid fungal research highlights pet-trade problems

The Chytrid fungus, which has caused a destructive decline in the population of 200 species of frogs, including the yellow-footed frog of the Sierra Nevada, has been widely used by researchers as a major international trade in pets

The discovery that the killer frog mushroom began in Korea provides additional arguments against the pet trade, especially for amphibians from East Asia. While the US Department of Agriculture has mandated a requirement for the shipment of domesticated animals for disease-free certification, there is no such rule for wildlife that categorizes frogs, toads and salamanders.

"Until then, the trade in infected amphibians will be halted, we will ruthlessly endanger our irreplaceable global amphibian biodiversity," said Matthew Fisher of Imperial College London, one of the researchers on the research team.

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