Characterization and partial purification of DNase in Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
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The pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been associated with amphibian declines in multiple continents, including western North America. Preliminary studies done in our laboratory have shown that Bd can form a biofilm and is active in the biofilm. We have identified DNase activity in Bd that may play a role in degrading the biofilm matrix and helping the organism to reinfect. DNase may also facilitate the supply of nutrients to the organism. Here we show the presence of this activity using qualitative and quantitative methods. DNase tests were performed using methyl green DNA containing plates and zymography. DNase activity is highest within a pH range of 5.5 to 7.5 and in the presence of Ca2+ and Mg2+ divalent cations. We have partially purified the enzyme and have seen that the enzyme may be present in 3 isoforms.