Isolation breeds naivety : island living robs Australian varanid lizards of toad-toxin immunity via four-base-pair mutation

Ujvari, Beata, Mun, Hee-chang, Conigrave, Arthur D., Bray, Alessandra, Osterkamp, Jens, Halling, Petter and Madsen, Thomas 2013, Isolation breeds naivety : island living robs Australian varanid lizards of toad-toxin immunity via four-base-pair mutation, Evolution: International journal of organic evolution, vol. 67, no. 1, pp. 289-294, doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01751.x.

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Title Isolation breeds naivety : island living robs Australian varanid lizards of toad-toxin immunity via four-base-pair mutation
Author(s) Ujvari, BeataORCID iD for Ujvari, Beata orcid.org/0000-0003-2391-2988
Mun, Hee-chang
Conigrave, Arthur D.
Bray, Alessandra
Osterkamp, Jens
Halling, Petter
Madsen, Thomas
Journal name Evolution: International journal of organic evolution
Volume number 67
Issue number 1
Start page 289
End page 294
Total pages 6
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2013-01
ISSN 1558-5646
0014-3820
Keyword(s) cane toads
coevolution
sodium-potassium-ATPase enzyme
toxic prey
varanid lizards
Summary Since their introduction to the toad-free Australian continent cane toads (Bufo marinus) have caused a dramatic increase in naïve varanid mortality when these large lizards attempt to feed on this toxic amphibian. In contrast Asian–African varanids, which have coevolved with toads, are resistant to toad toxin. Toad toxins, such as Bufalin target the H1-H2 domain of the α1 subunit of the sodium-potassium-ATPase enzyme. Sequencing of this domain revealed identical nucleotide sequences in four Asian as well as in three African varanids, and identical sequences in all 11 Australian varanids. However, compared to the Asian–African varanids, the Australian varanids showed four-base-pair substitutions, resulting in the alteration in three of the 12 amino acids representing the H1-H2 domain. The phenotypic effect of the substitutions was investigated in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells stably transfected with the Australian and the Asian–African H1-H2 domains. The transfections resulted in an approximate 3000-fold reduction in resistance to Bufalin in the Australian HEK293 cells compared to the Asian–African HEK293 cells, demonstrating the critical role of this minor mutation in providing Bufalin resistance. Our study hence presents a clear link between genotype and phenotype, a critical step in understanding the evolution of phenotypic diversity.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01751.x
Field of Research 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Wiley
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30063802

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Centre for Integrative Ecology
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