Venom variation in Bothrops asper lineages from north-western South America.
Mora Obando, Diana
Salazar Valenzuela, David
Pla Ferrer, Davinia
Guerrero Vargas, Jimmy
Gibbs, H. Lisle
Calvete Chornet, Juan José
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Bothrops asper is a venomous pitviper that is widely distributed and of clinical importance in Mesoamerica and northern South America, where it is responsible for 50–80% of all envenomations by Viperidae species. Previous work suggests that B. asper has a complex phylogeographic structure, with the existence of multiple evolutionarily distinct lineages, particularly in the inter-Andean valleys of north South America. To explore the impact of the evolutionary history of B. asper on venom composition, we have investigated geographic variation in the venom proteome of this species from the populations from the Pacific side of Ecuador and south-western Colombia. Among the 21 classes of venom components identified, proteins from mainly four major toxin families, snake venom metalloproteases (PI- and PII-SVMP), phospholipases A2 (K49- and D49-PLA2s), serine proteinases (SVSP), and C-type lectins-like (CTL) proteins are major contributors to the geographic variability in venom. Principal component analyses demonstrate significant differences in venom composition between B. asper lineages previously identified through combination of molecular, morphological and geographical data, and provide additional insights into the selection pressures modulating venom phenotypes on a geographic scale. In particular, altitudinal zonation within the Andean mountain range stands out as a key ecological factor promoting diversification in venom. In addition, the pattern of distribution of PLA2 molecules among B. asper venoms complements phylogenetic analysis in the reconstruction of the dispersal events that account for the current biogeographic distribution of the present-day species' phylogroups. Ontogenic variation was also evident among venoms from some Ecuadorian lineages, although this age-related variation was less extreme than reported in B. asper venoms from Costa Rica. The results of our study demonstrate a significant impact of phylogenetic history on venom composition in a pitviper and show how analyses of this variation can illuminate the timing of the cladogenesis and ecological events that shaped the current distribution of B. asper lineages.
External link to the item10.1016/j.jprot.2020.103945
- Microbiología 
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