Morphology & Thermal Preference
Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is a fungus in the phylum Chytridiomycota and the order Rhizophydiales. Like B. dendrobatidis, Bsal has demonstrated two main life stages: a zoospore with a single posteriorly directed flagellum and a mature thallus, containing asexual zoospores, called zoosporangium (Van Rooij et al., 2015).
In vitro, Bsal produces zoospores from colonial or monocentric thalli. Colonial thalli contain more than one sporangium while monocentric thalli contain only one sporangium. Two principal distinguishing morphological features of Bsal in culture are the development of germ tubes from encysted spores and the presence of more colonial thalli than can be observed in Bd cultures (Martel et al., 2013, Van Rooij et al., 2015).
Recently Stegen et al. (2017) described an additional infectious form of Bsal spore, a robust encysted spore with the ability to persist in the environment for extended periods of time. This encysted spore is produced both in vivo and vitro and has its own specific infection, transmission and persistence strategy which contributes to its durability and hardy nature.
Bsal grows optimally between 10°C – 15°C, however, it also grows, albeit slowly at 5°C. The death of Bsal occurs at ≥ 25°C (Martel et al., 2013).