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The Peptide Venom Composition of the Fierce Stinging Ant Tetraponera aethiops (Formicidae: Pseudomyrmecinae)
Open AccessArticle

Alteration of Bumblebee Venom Composition toward Higher Elevation

Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Biophore, Lausanne, Switzerland
Swiss Ornithological Institute, Valais Field Station, Rue du Rhône 11, CH-1950 Sion, Switzerland
Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics, University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Géopolis, Lausanne, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 November 2019 / Revised: 11 December 2019 / Accepted: 17 December 2019 / Published: 19 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Venom Proteomics and Transcriptomics)
Venomous animals use venom, a complex biofluid composed of unique mixtures of proteins and peptides, for either predation or defense. Bumblebees, which occur in various habitats due to their unique thermoregulatory properties, mainly use venom for defense. Herein, we conducted an exploratory analysis of the venom composition of a bumblebee species (Bombus pascuorum) along an elevation gradient in the western Swiss Alps using shot-gun proteomic approaches to assess whether their defense mechanism varies along the gradient. The gradient was characterized by high temperatures and low humidity at low elevations and low temperatures and high humidity at high elevations. Venom composition is changing along the elevation gradient, with proteomic variation in the abundances of pain-inducing and allergenic proteins. In particular, the abundance of phospholipase A2-like, the main component of bumblebee venom, gradually decreases toward higher elevation (lower temperature), suggesting venom alteration and thus a decrease in bumblebee defense towards harsher environments. Larger datasets may complement this study to validate the observed novel trends. View Full-Text
Keywords: venom; bumblebee; elevation; shot-gun proteomics; mixed-effect model; PLA2-like venom; bumblebee; elevation; shot-gun proteomics; mixed-effect model; PLA2-like
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MDPI and ACS Style

Barkan, N.P.; Chevalier, M.; Pradervand, J.-N.; Guisan, A. Alteration of Bumblebee Venom Composition toward Higher Elevation. Toxins 2020, 12, 4.

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    Description: Figure S1: A. Correlation circle representing the contribution of environmental variables on PC1 and PC2 (dim 1: PC1, dim 2: PC2) B. Correlation matrix plot among environmental variables (bar represents Pearson's correlation coefficients). Full names of the environmental variables are shown in Table S3 Figure S2: SDS-PAGE gel images of venom samples from 930m, 1360m and 1700m. A, B, C, D, E and F are protein bands that were further analyzed Table S1: List of 24 venom proteins identified from B. pascuorum which are selected for further analyses Table S2: LFQ intensity values of the 24 venom proteins identified from B. pascuorum Table S3. List of environmental variables extracted from the CHclim25 database.
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