September 22, 2019  |  

Natural selection in bats with historical exposure to white-nose syndrome

Authors: Harazim, Markéta and Horácek, Ivan and Jakešová, Lucie and Luermann, Kristína and Moravec, Jirí C. and Morgan, Shannon and Pikula, Jiri and Sosík, Petr and Vavrušová, Zuzana and Zahradníková, Alexandra and Zukal, Jan and Martínková, Natália

Hibernation allows animals to survive periods of resource scarcity by reducing their energy expenditure through decreased metabolism. However, hibernators become susceptible to psychrophilic pathogens if they cannot mount an efficient immune response to infection. While Nearctic bats infected with white-nose syndrome (WNS) suffer high mortality, related Palearctic taxa are better able to survive the disease than their Nearctic counterparts. We hypothesised that WNS exerted historical selective pressure in Palearctic bats, resulting in genomic changes that promote infection tolerance.

Journal: BMC zoology
DOI: 10.1186/s40850-018-0035-4
Year: 2018

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