Bat adaptations to the fungal disease geomycosis (2012–2015)

Číslo projektu P506/12/1064
I. číslo 396
Období 1. 1. 2012 — 31. 12. 2015

White-nose syndrome is a newly recognised fungal disease of hibernating bats that is caused by a fungus Pseudogymnoascus [formerly Geomyces] destructans. Extreme bat mortality associated with the disease in North America has not been observed in Europe. Assuming that bats in Europe share long evolutionary history with the disease, we investigated ecological, behavioural and genetic adaptations to the P. destructans infection. Estimating environmental conditions limiting fungal growth enabled us to create a predictive distribution model of the disease. We assessed fluctuations in numbers of wintering bats and their flight activity before and after the first record of white-nose syndrome and we estimated whether the clustering behaviour prevents arousal disturbance of infected bats. We located genomic regions likely to be involved in genetic adaptations to the white-nose syndrome. This information helped us to understand adaptive mechanisms leading to survival differences between bats from North America and Europe.