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Gleason F.H.,University of Sydney | Lilje O.,University of Sydney | Marano A.V.,Institute Botanica | Sime-Ngando T.,University Blaise Pascal | And 4 more authors.
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2014

Zoosporic parasites have received increased attention during the last years, but it is still largely unnoted that these parasites can themselves be infected by hyperparasites. Some members of the Chytridiomycota, Blastocladiomycota, Cryptomycota, Hyphochytriomycota, Labyrinthulomycota, Oomycota, and Phytomyxea are hyperparasites of zoosporic hosts. Because of sometimes complex tripartite interactions between hyperparasite, their parasite-host, and the primary host, hyperparasites can be difficult to detect and monitor. Some of these hyperparasites use similar mechanisms as their parasite-hosts to find and infect their target and to access food resources. The life cycle of zoosporic hyperparasites is usually shorter than the life cycle of their hosts, so hyperparasites may accelerate the turnaround times of nutrients within the ecosystem. Hyperparasites may increase the complexity of food webs and play significant roles in regulating population sizes and population dynamics of their hosts. We suggest that hyperparasites lengthen food chains but can also play a role in conducting or suppressing diseases of animals, plants, or algae. Hyperparasites can significantly impact ecosystems in various ways, therefore it is important to increase our understanding about these cryptic and diverse organisms. © 2014 Gleason, Lilje, Marano, Sime-Ngando, Sullivan, Kirchmair and Neuhauser.

Gleason F.H.,University of Sydney | Chambouvet A.,Natural History Museum in London | Sullivan B.K.,Back To Nature Design | Lilje O.,University of Sydney | And 2 more authors.
Fungal Ecology | Year: 2014

There is substantial evidence for the dominant role of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibian population dynamics. However, a wide range of other pathogens could also be important in precipitating amphibian population declines, particularly in the face of climate change or other stressors. Here we discuss some examples of zoosporic parasites in the Chytridiomycota, Mesomycetozoa, Perkinsozoa and Oomycota, all of which infect amphibians in freshwater habitats. The pathosystem model provides an excellent basis for understanding host-parasite interactions. Chemotactic zoopores and several families of proteases facilitate infection. Introduction of non-native host may accelerate the dispersal of these parasites. Unlike B. dendrobatidis some of the other zoosporic parasites grow well at or slightly above 25°C, and their growth rates are likely to increase with global warming. The interactions of parasites with each other and the combined effect of simultaneous infection with multiple species in amphibian populations remain to be carefully studied. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and The British Mycological Society.

Sullivan B.K.,Back To Nature Design | Sherman T.D.,University of South Alabama | Damare V.S.,National Institute of Oceanography of India | Lilje O.,University of Sydney | Gleason F.H.,University of Sydney
Fungal Ecology | Year: 2013

Overwhelming evidence suggests that seagrass ecosystems are declining around the world. Pathogens from the genus Labyrinthula have repeatedly been found to cause disease in a variety of seagrass species. For example, the 'wasting disease' of Zostera marina has been attributed to Labyrinthula infection. Although poorly characterized taxonomically, species of Labyrinthula are very common in marine ecosystems, virulence of genotypes/phylotypes is known to be variable, and highly virulent species are able to cause ecologically significant diseases of protists, plants and animals. Here, the pathosystem model is applied to host-parasite relationships in seagrass ecosystems. Known physical and biological stressors of seagrass are reviewed. Finally, we make the case that it is time to expand research on this poorly studied microorganism in order to quantify the role of disease in seagrass populations world-wide. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and The British Mycological Society.

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