Journal article

Structural and Molecular Diversification of the Anguimorpha Lizard Mandibular Venom Gland System in the Arboreal Species Abronia graminea

Ivan Koludarov, Kartik Sunagar, Eivind AB Undheim, Timothy NW Jackson, Tim Ruder, Darryl Whitehead, Alejandro C Saucedo, G Roberto Mora, Alejandro C Alagon, Glenn King, Agostinho Antunes, Bryan G Fry



In the past, toxinological research on reptiles has focused principally on clinically important species. As a result, our understanding of the evolution of the reptile venom system is limited. Here, for the first time, we describe the structural and molecular evolutionary features of the mandibular toxin-secreting gland of Abronia graminea, a representative of one of the poorly known and entirely arboreal lineages of anguimorph lizards. We show that the mandibular gland is robust and serous, characters consistent with those expected of a toxin-secreting gland in active use. A wide array of transcripts were recovered that were homologous to those encoded by the indisputably venomous heloderma..

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Awarded by Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT)

Funding Acknowledgements

BGF was funded by the Australian Research Council and the University of Queensland. EABU would like to acknowledge funding from the University of Queensland (International Postgraduate Research Scholarship, UQ Centennial Scholarship, and UQ Advantage Top-Up Scholarship) and the Norwegian State Education Loans Fund. This research was supported in part by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) through the Ph.D. grant conferred to KS (SFRH/BD/61959/2009) and the project PTDC/AAC-AMB/121301/2010 (FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-019490) to AA.