DNA analysis has revealed the the fungus that causes white nose syndrome in bats is not closely related to the other Geomyces species found in caves. The researchers, who are with the US Forest Service, say that the fungus should be in the genus Pseudogymnoascus instead.
The research will be published in the journal Fungal Biology. The authors note that the difference between the white nose fungus and native fungal species supports the idea that the fungus is not native to North America.
“This research represents more than just a name change,” said Bat Conservation International director of conservation Mylea Bayless in a US Forest Service press release. “Understanding the evolutionary relationships between this fungus and its cousins in Europe and North America should help us narrow our search for solutions to WNS.”
Read the Fungal Biology paper abstract here. (Fee or subscription required for the full article.)
Read the US Forest Service press release here.
Read the Bat Conservation International newsletter article here.
Photo: courtesy USGS National Wildlife Health Center