Laura Grogan from our team is thrilled to have just been awarded $9,900 through the competitive Environmental Futures Research Institute Strategic Leverage Fund 2018 for the project: "Investigation of immune gene expression in the amphibian fungal skin disease, chytridiomycosis"!
Chytridiomycosis is a fatal fungal skin disease of amphibians that has caused unprecedented species’ declines and extinctions worldwide. It is unclear why some individuals and species succumb to disease, while others can tolerate equivalent infectious burdens without detrimental effects. The project aim is to investigate the mechanisms underlying the dysregulated and non-protective immune response to infection that results in mortality of susceptible animals. This project will combine cutting-edge next-generation gene sequencing technology and gene expression analyses with an immunologic approach, and will be of international significance, contributing to amphibian conservation.
The funding will provide essential start-up reagents and kits for RNA extraction as well as some funding for next generation sequencing on a limited number of samples. Laura has worked in this gene expression space before (see article below), but in a different amphibian-chytridiomycosis system. This time she will be investigating immune responses of Fleay's barred frogs (Mixophyes fleayi) with the aim to help understand pathogenesis and immunity.