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Amphibian microbial and morphological defenses against natural enemies

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TitleInfo
Title
Amphibian microbial and morphological defenses against natural enemies
Name (type = personal)
NamePart (type = family)
Kruger
NamePart (type = given)
Ariel
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Ariel Kruger
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author
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Morin
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Peter J.
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Peter J. Morin
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Advisory Committee
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chair
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Lockwood
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Julie
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Julie Lockwood
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
Name (type = personal)
NamePart (type = family)
Maslo
NamePart (type = given)
Brooke
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Brooke Maslo
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Advisory Committee
Role
RoleTerm (authority = RULIB)
internal member
Name (type = personal)
NamePart (type = family)
Harris
NamePart (type = given)
Reid
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Reid Harris
Affiliation
Advisory Committee
Role
RoleTerm (authority = RULIB)
outside member
Name (type = corporate)
NamePart
Rutgers University
Role
RoleTerm (authority = RULIB)
degree grantor
Name (type = corporate)
NamePart
School of Graduate Studies
Role
RoleTerm (authority = RULIB)
school
TypeOfResource
Text
Genre (authority = marcgt)
theses
OriginInfo
DateCreated (encoding = w3cdtf); (keyDate = yes); (qualifier = exact)
2019
DateOther (encoding = w3cdtf); (qualifier = exact); (type = degree)
2019-10
Language
LanguageTerm (authority = ISO 639-3:2007); (type = text)
English
Abstract (type = abstract)
Amphibians face a suite of challenges to survival including predation, pollution, habitat loss, and infectious diseases. Over the last several decades, amphibian populations have been severely declining as a result of a combination of these factors. A looming threat caused by an emerging fungal pathogen has highlighted the potential importance of the amphibian cutaneous microbiome in mediating the effects of disease. In the first two chapters of my dissertation, my research focus is on understanding the diversity and function of the amphibian cutaneous microbiome in the context of resistance against this pathogen. In the last chapter, I shift my focus to exploring the role of phenotypic plasticity in protecting tadpoles of a near-threatened species from a natural predator.
In chapter 1, I used culture-based techniques to study bacteria isolated from green frog skin that inhibit the growth of the fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Despite bacteria being classified as the same operational taxonomic unit (OTU, ~bacterial species) based on 16S rRNA sequencing, I found differences in Bd inhibition capabilities among isolates. This suggests that phylogenetic relatedness alone is not a reliable predictor of whether or not a bacterial isolate can prevent Bd growth. Furthermore, I found unique communities of anti-Bd bacteria among three populations of green frogs, suggesting functional redundancy of Bd inhibition across populations.
Because not all bacteria are readily culturable, I used culture-independent techniques in chapter 2 to explore variation in amphibian skin microbiomes among frog species, sampling sites, and individuals with and without Bd present on their skin. Through sampling skin microbiomes of six frog species, I found significant differences among frog skin microbiomes across species and sites, but not between Bd-positive and Bd-negative individuals. Additionally, putative anti-Bd OTUs made up a third of bacterial abundance among host-associated communities, and several putative anti-Bd OTUs were strongly associated with frogs based on their abundance and prevalence. The presence of anti-Bd OTUs may be offering frogs protection against Bd and may partially explain why several of the host species sampled are asymptomatic carriers of Bd. Overall, these results suggest that skin-associated microbial communities reflect host species and the environment, but not Bd status among the frogs studied here.
In my final chapter, I described phenotypic changes in tadpoles of Hyla andersonii exposed to the odonate predator Anax junius. Predator-exposed tadpoles developed darker and deeper tail fins. This response likely increases tadpole survival due to the "lure effect," where conspicuous tail morphology attracts predator attacks toward the tail, which can be regrown, and away from the vulnerable head. Given that these findings are consistent with previous documentation of conspicuous tail coloration in hylid tadpoles, I propose that this provides evidence of an adaptive syndrome among hylid tadpoles, where tadpoles develop conspicuous tails in the presence of odonate predators.
This dissertation has provided new insight on the defensive strategies employed by amphibians against their natural enemies and will help inform conservation plans in this time of significant amphibian declines.
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Ecology and Evolution
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Amphibians -- Microbiology
RelatedItem (type = host)
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Title
Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Identifier (type = RULIB)
ETD
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ETD_10237
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application/pdf
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text/xml
Extent
1 onine resource (xii, 121 pages) : illustrations
Note (type = degree)
Ph.D.
Note (type = bibliography)
Includes bibliographical references
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Amphibians -- Infections
RelatedItem (type = host)
TitleInfo
Title
School of Graduate Studies Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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rucore10001600001
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NjNbRU
Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/t3-qzdm-3g05
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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Rights

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The author owns the copyright to this work.
RightsHolder (type = personal)
Name
FamilyName
Kruger
GivenName
Ariel
Role
Copyright Holder
RightsEvent
Type
Permission or license
DateTime (encoding = w3cdtf); (qualifier = exact); (point = start)
2019-09-12 11:23:35
AssociatedEntity
Name
Ariel Kruger
Role
Copyright holder
Affiliation
Rutgers University. School of Graduate Studies
AssociatedObject
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License
Name
Author Agreement License
Detail
I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
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Type
Embargo
DateTime (encoding = w3cdtf); (qualifier = exact); (point = start)
2019-10-31
DateTime (encoding = w3cdtf); (qualifier = exact); (point = end)
2020-10-30
Detail
Access to this PDF has been restricted at the author's request. It will be publicly available after October 30th, 2020.
Copyright
Status
Copyright protected
Availability
Status
Open
Reason
Permission or license
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2019-09-13T15:26:54
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2019-09-13T15:26:54
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