Laura K. Muller

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White-nose syndrome (WNS), an emerging infectious disease that has killed over 5.5 million hibernating bats, is named for the causative agent, a white fungus (Geomyces destructans (Gd)) that invades the skin of torpid bats. During hibernation, arousals to warm (euthermic) body temperatures are normal but deplete fat stores. Temperature-sensitive dataloggers(More)
The fungus Geomyces destructans is the causative agent of white-nose syndrome (WNS), a disease that has killed millions of North American hibernating bats. We describe a real-time TaqMan PCR test that detects DNA from G. destructans by targeting a portion of the multicopy intergenic spacer region of the rRNA gene complex. The test is highly sensitive,(More)
White-nose syndrome (WNS) is an emerging disease of hibernating bats caused by the recently described fungus Geomyces destructans. First isolated in 2008, the origins of this fungus in North America and its ability to persist in the environment remain undefined. To investigate the correlation between manifestation of WNS and distribution of G. destructans(More)
In response to nutrient deficiency, eukaryotic cells activate macroautophagy, a degradative process in which proteins, organelles and cytoplasm are engulfed within unique vesicles called autophagosomes. Fusion of these vesicles with the endolysosomal compartment leads to breakdown of the sequestered material into amino acids and other simple molecules,(More)
The recent emergence of white-nose syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease causing unprecedented mortality among hibernating bats of eastern North America, has revealed a knowledge gap regarding fungal communities associated with bats and their hibernacula. We used culture-based techniques to investigate the diversity of fungi in soil samples collected from 24 bat(More)
Before the discovery of white-nose syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease caused by Pseudogymnoascus destructans, there were no reports of fungal skin infections in bats during hibernation. In 2011, bats with grossly visible fungal skin infections similar in appearance to WNS were reported from multiple sites in Wisconsin, US, a state outside the known range of(More)
The recent emergence of white-nose syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease causing unprecedented mortality among hibernating bats of eastern North America, has revealed a knowledge gap regarding fungal communities associated with bats and their hibernacula. We used culture-based techniques to investigate the diversity of fungi in soil samples collected from 24 bat(More)
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