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Venom-gland transcriptomics and venom proteomics of the giant Florida blue centipede, Scolopendra viridis

Ward, Micaiah J., Rokyta, Darin R.
Toxicon 2018 v.152 pp. 121-136
Scolopendra, allergens, calcium channels, metalloproteinases, potassium channels, proteome, proteomics, toxins, transcriptome, transcriptomics, venoms, Florida, Mexico
The limited number of centipede venom characterizations have revealed a rich diversity of toxins, and recent work has suggested centipede toxins may be more rapidly diversifying than previously considered. Additionally, many identified challenges in venomics research, including assembly and annotation methods, toxin quantification, and the ability to provide biological or technical replicates, have yet to be addressed in centipede venom characterizations. We performed high-throughput, quantifiable transcriptomic and proteomic methods on two individual Scolopendra viridis centipedes from North Florida. We identified 39 toxins that were proteomically confirmed, and 481 nontoxins that were expressed in the venom gland of S. viridis. The most abundant toxins expressed in the venom of S. viridis belonged to calcium and potassium ion-channel toxins, venom allergens, metalloproteases, and β-pore forming toxins. We compared our results to the previously characterized S. viridis from Morelos, Mexico, and found only five proteomically confirmed toxins in common to both localities, suggesting either extreme toxin divergence within S. viridis, or that these populations may represent entirely different species. By using multiple assembly and annotation methods, we generated a comprehensive and quantitative reference transcriptome and proteome of a Scolopendromorpha centipede species, while overcoming some of the challenges present in venomics research.