Effects of the nematode Gyrinicola batrachiensis on the development and gut morphology of larval stages of the Green frog, Rana clamitans
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The nematode Gyrinicola batrachiensis is known to infect the gastrointestinal tract of tadpoles of eight North American anurans, including bull frogs and green frogs. Gregory Pryor and Karen Bjorndal describe a novel mutualistic relationship between G. batrachiensis and host bull frog tadpoles (2005). Infection of G. batrachiensis has been shown to increase development rate and decrease time taken to reach metamorphosis in bull frog tadpoles. The increase in development rate is attributed to an alteration of gut morphology and gut fermentation rates in the gut of bull frog tadpoles. This study investigates the relationship between G. batrachiensis and host green frog tadpoles to see if they share a similar mutualistic relationship as bull frogs and the nematode. If green frog tadpoles infected with G. batrachiensis develop faster and show differences in gut morphology than uninfected tadpoles, then it can be concluded that green frog tadpoles also have a mutualistic relationship with G. batrachiensis.