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Venom systems as models for studying the origin and regulation of evolutionary novelties.

Zancolli, Giulia and Casewell, Nicholas ORCID: (2020) 'Venom systems as models for studying the origin and regulation of evolutionary novelties.'. Molecular Biology and Evolution, Vol 37, Issue 10, pp. 2777-2790.

Zancolli+Casewell 2020-Venom systems-Review-June 20.pdf - Accepted Version

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A central goal in biology is to determine the ways in which evolution repeats itself. One of the most remarkable examples in nature of convergent evolutionary novelty is animal venom. Across diverse animal phyla, various specialized organs and anatomical structures have evolved from disparate developmental tissues to perform the same function, i.e. produce and deliver a cocktail of potent molecules to subdue prey or predators. Venomous organisms therefore offer unique opportunities to investigate the evolutionary processes of convergence of key adaptive traits, and the molecular mechanisms underlying the emergence of novel genes, cells, and tissues. Indeed, some venomous species have already proven to be highly amenable as models for developmental studies, and recent work with venom gland organoids provides manipulatable systems for directly testing important evolutionary questions. Here, we provide a synthesis of the current knowledge that could serve as a starting point for the establishment of venom systems as new models for evolutionary and molecular biology. In particular, we highlight the potential of various venomous species for the study of cell differentiation and cell identity, and the regulatory dynamics of rapidly-evolving, highly expressed, tissue-specific, gene paralogs. We hope that this review will encourage researchers to look beyond traditional study organisms and consider venom systems as useful tools to explore evolutionary novelties.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QU Biochemistry > Genetics > QU 500 Genetic phenomena
WD Disorders of Systemic, Metabolic or Environmental Origin, etc > Animal Poisons > WD 410 Reptiles
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Mary Creegan
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2020 09:18
Last Modified: 27 May 2021 01:02


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