Correlation between ontogenetic dietary shifts and venom variation in Australian brown snakes (Pseudonaja)

Cipriani, Vittoria, Debono, Jordan, Goldenberg, Jonathan, Jackson, Timothy N. W., Arbuckle, Kevin, Dobson, James, Koludarov, Ivan, Li, Bin, Hay, Chris, Dunstan, Nathan, Allen, Luke, Hendrikx, Iwan, Kwok, Hang Fai and Fry, Bryan G. (2017) Correlation between ontogenetic dietary shifts and venom variation in Australian brown snakes (Pseudonaja). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology C-Toxicology & Pharmacology, 197 53-60. doi:10.1016/j.cbpc.2017.04.007


Author Cipriani, Vittoria
Debono, Jordan
Goldenberg, Jonathan
Jackson, Timothy N. W.
Arbuckle, Kevin
Dobson, James
Koludarov, Ivan
Li, Bin
Hay, Chris
Dunstan, Nathan
Allen, Luke
Hendrikx, Iwan
Kwok, Hang Fai
Fry, Bryan G.
Title Correlation between ontogenetic dietary shifts and venom variation in Australian brown snakes (Pseudonaja)
Formatted title
Correlation between ontogenetic dietary shifts and venom variation in Australian brown snakes (Pseudonaja)
Journal name Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology C-Toxicology & Pharmacology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1878-1659
1532-0456
Publication date 2017-07-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.cbpc.2017.04.007
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 197
Start page 53
End page 60
Total pages 8
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Venom is a key evolutionary trait, as evidenced by its widespread convergent evolution across the animal kingdom. In an escalating prey-predator arms race, venoms evolve rapidly to guarantee predatory or defensive success. Variation in venom composition is ubiquitous among snakes. Here, we tested variation in venom activity on substrates relevant to blood coagulation among Pseudonaja (brown snake) species, Australian elapids responsible for the majority of medically important human envenomations in Australia. A functional approach was employed to elucidate interspecific variation in venom activity in all nine currently recognised species of Pseudonaja. Fluorometric enzymatic activity assays were performed to test variation in whole venom procoagulant activity among species. Analyses confirmed the previously documented ontogenetic shift from non-coagulopathic venom in juveniles to coagulopathic venom as adults, except for the case of P. modesta, which retains non-coagulopathic venom as an adult. These shifts in venom activity correlate with documented ontogenetic shifts in diet among brown snakes from specialisation on reptilian prey as juveniles (and throughout the life cycle of P. modesta), to a more generalised diet in adults that includes mammals. The results of this study bring to light findings relevant to both clinical and evolutionary toxinology.
Keyword Diet
Enzymatic activity
Pseudonaja brown snake
Toxin
Venom
Venom evolution
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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