Elusive bacteria help cane toads survive Australia’s harsh environment


Prof Keith Christian, Prof Karen Gibb and Dr. Mirjam Kaestli analysed bacteria on the skins of five native frog species and cane toads. The team found that each species has a unique community of bacteria living on its skin.

“The microbes apparently act like an external extension of the immune system, by protecting cane toads from skin diseases,” Keith said.

This research is based on a new field of microbiome health and resilience that could help inform the conservation of native frog species against toxic fungus.