Amplification of Ranavirus DNA from Infected Tadpole Tissues
Rachel Cook ’20, Moscow, Idaho
Major: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavioral Biology
Amphibian populations worldwide have been declining in recent years due to increasing instances of disease, anthropogenic pollution and habitat destruction, or a combination thereof. Frog virus 3 (FV3), a type of ranavirus, has been found to cause infection in many species of amphibians worldwide and has resulted in die-offs in wild populations. Building off work performed by Angeles in 2018, the goal of this project was to amplify FV3 DNA from Lithobates pipiens tadpoles that had been orally exposed to both FV3 and polychlorinated biphenyl-126 (PCB-126), an environmental pollutant known to increase amphibian susceptibility to disease. DNA was extracted from tadpole liver and kidney tissues and amplification of FV3 DNA was performed using polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) with FV3 primers. The PCR products were then visualized using gel electrophoresis. The results of the PCRs were variable, with amplification of FV3 DNA occurring in the kidney tissue of some, but not all, of the tadpoles exposed to FV3. Consistent viral DNA amplification from the exposed tissue samples is important in confirming infection with FV3 and drawing conclusions about the effect of environmental pollutants on FV3 infection. Continued analysis of the samples would provide a more comprehensive understanding of whether all the tadpoles exposed to FV3 were infected with FV3.