Among the medically most important snakes in the world, the species belonging to the genus Daboia have been attributed to the highest number of human envenomings, deaths and disabilities. Given their significant clinical relevance, the venoms of Russell’s vipers (D. russelii and D. siamensis) have been the primary focus of research. In contrast, the composition, activity, ecology and evolution of venom of its congener, the Palestine viper (D. palaestinae), have remained largely understudied. Therefore, to unravel the factors responsible for the enhanced medical relevance of D. russelii in comparison to D. palaestinae, we comparatively evaluated their venom proteomes, biochemical activities, and mortality and morbidity inflicting potentials. Furthermore, the synthesis and regulation of venom in snakes have also remained underinvestigated, and the relative contribution of each venom gland remains unclear. We address this knowledge gap by sequencing the tissue transcriptomes of both venom glands of D. palaestinae, and comparatively evaluating their contribution to the secreted venom concoction. Our findings highlight the disparity in the venom composition, function and toxicities of the two Daboia species. We also show that toxin production is not partitioned between the two venom glands of D. palaestinae.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
KS was supported by the Wellcome Trust DBT India Alliance Fellowship (IA/I/19/2/504647). This research was also supported by DST-FIST (SR/FST/LS-II/2018/233) and the Marie Skłdowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (654294), awarded to K.S., Y.M. acknowledges support from the Israel Science Foundation grant (636/21). S.L. was supported by the Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship, Government of India (0201058).
© 2022 by the authors.
- Daboia palaestinae
- Daboia russelii
- preclinical assessment
- snake venoms