Transcending sea turtles: First report of hatching failure in eggs of an Amazonian freshwater turtle with symptoms of the fungal emerging disease fusariosis

Ana Sofia Carranco, Mark A.F. Gillingham, Kerstin Wilhelm, Maria de Lourdes Torres, Simone Sommer, David Romo

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

4 Citas (Scopus)

Resumen

During the last few decades, fungal pathogens have caused devastating population declines across a broad range of taxa. A newly emerging fungal disease, sea turtle egg fusariosis, caused by members of the Fusarium solani species complex (FSSC), has been reported to be responsible for hatching failure in sea turtles worldwide. However, this has not been detected in fresh water turtle species. Here, using relocated clutches and artificial incubation, we report high hatching failure in eggs symptomatic of fusariosis in the yellow-spotted Amazon River turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) inhabiting a pristine environment in the Ecuadorian Amazon. In 2020, we screened 680 eggs of the yellow-spotted Amazon River turtle, relocated from wild nesting areas to artificial nests, for visual symptoms of fusariosis and to estimate hatchability despite infection. We selected 68 eggs sampled in 2019 to confirm Fusarium infection by PCR amplification of the TEF-1α gene and sequenced seven of those amplicons on an Illumina Miseq to assess FSSC membership. We observed fusariosis symptoms in 42% of the 680 eggs. The proportion of symptomatic eggs within nests was negatively linked to the proportion of eggs that hatched. Hatchability was 8% for symptomatic eggs compared with 72% of asymptomatic eggs. Through PCR testing, 58% of symptomatic and 8% of asymptomatic eggs sampled in 2019 tested positive for Fusarium spp., and sequencing revealed that nine sequence variants from three asymptomatic and four symptomatic eggs corresponded to F. keratoplasticum, F. solani and F. falciforme, the three major FSSC pathogens reported in sea turtle egg fusariosis. Our study suggests that hatching failure in eggs linked to symptoms of fusariosis appears to be partially caused by Fusarium pathogens within FSSC in a freshwater turtle. Thus, fusariosis is more widespread among the Testudines than previously reported and is not limited to sea environments, findings of particular conservation concern.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)e3282-e3288
PublicaciónTransboundary and Emerging Diseases
Volumen69
N.º5
DOI
EstadoPublicada - sep. 2022

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