Next Article in Journal
Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans Leukotoxin (LtxA; Leukothera®): Mechanisms of Action and Therapeutic Applications
Previous Article in Journal
Therapeutic Effects of Botulinum Toxin A, via Urethral Sphincter Injection on Voiding Dysfunction Due to Different Bladder and Urethral Sphincter Dysfunctions
Open AccessCommunication

Phylogeny-Guided Selection of Priority Groups for Venom Bioprospecting: Harvesting Toxin Sequences in Tarantulas as a Case Study

1
Department of Bioresources, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, Winchesterstr. 2, 35394 Gießen, Germany
2
Institute for Insect Biotechnology, Justus-Liebig-University of Gießen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26-32, 35392 Gießen, Germany
3
LOEWE Centre for Translational Biodiversity Genomics (LOEWE-TBG), Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2019, 11(9), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090488
Received: 19 July 2019 / Revised: 20 August 2019 / Accepted: 22 August 2019 / Published: 25 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
Animal venoms are promising sources of novel drug leads, but their translational potential is hampered by the low success rate of earlier biodiscovery programs, in part reflecting the narrow selection of targets for investigation. To increase the number of lead candidates, here we discuss a phylogeny-guided approach for the rational selection of venomous taxa, using tarantulas (family Theraphosidae) as a case study. We found that previous biodiscovery programs have prioritized the three subfamilies Ornithoctoninae, Selenocosmiinae, and Theraphosinae, which provide almost all of the toxin sequences currently available in public databases. The remaining subfamilies are poorly represented, if at all. These overlooked subfamilies include several that form entire clades of the theraphosid life tree, such as the subfamilies Eumenophorinae, Harpactirinae, and Stromatopelminae, indicating that biodiversity space has not been covered effectively for venom biodiscovery in Theraphosidae. Focusing on these underrepresented taxa will increase the likelihood that promising candidates with novel structures and mechanisms of action can be identified in future bioprospecting programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: spiders; Theraphosidae; phylogenetics; venomics; bioprospecting; taxonomic bias spiders; Theraphosidae; phylogenetics; venomics; bioprospecting; taxonomic bias
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Lüddecke, T.; Vilcinskas, A.; Lemke, S. Phylogeny-Guided Selection of Priority Groups for Venom Bioprospecting: Harvesting Toxin Sequences in Tarantulas as a Case Study. Toxins 2019, 11, 488.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map

1
Back to TopTop