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Intraspecific variations in the venom peptidome of the ant Odontomachus haematodus (formicidae: ponerinae) from French Guiana

Abstract : Ant venoms are complex cocktails of toxins employed to subdue prey and to protect the colony from predators and microbial pathogens. Although the extent of ant venom peptide diversity remains largely unexplored, previous studies have revealed the presence of numerous bioactive peptides in most stinging ant venoms. We investigated the venom peptidome of the ponerine ant Odontomachus haematodus using LC-MS analysis and then verified whether the division of labor in the colonies and their geographical location are correlated with differences in venom composition. Our results reveal that O. haematodus venom is comprised of 105 small linear peptides. The venom composition does not vary between the different castes (i.e., nurses, foragers and queens), but an intraspecific variation in peptide content was observed, particularly when the colonies are separated by large distances. Geographical variation appears to increase the venom peptide repertoire of this ant species, demonstrating its intraspecific venom plasticity.
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Axel Touchard, Alain Dejean, Pierre Escoubas, Jérôme Orivel. Intraspecific variations in the venom peptidome of the ant Odontomachus haematodus (formicidae: ponerinae) from French Guiana. Journal of Hymenoptera Research, Sofia : Pensoft Publishers; [s.l.] : International Society of Hymenopterists., 2015, 47, pp.87-101. ⟨10.3897/JHR.47.6804⟩. ⟨hal-02634525⟩

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