Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Venomous catfish described

Date:
December 4, 2009
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
In contrast to the exhaustive research into venom produced by snakes and spiders, venomous fish have been neglected and remain something of a mystery. Now, a study of 158 catfish species has catalogued the presence of venom glands and investigated their biological effects.

Catfish.
Credit: J Wright, BMC Evolutionary Biology

In contrast to the exhaustive research into venom produced by snakes and spiders, venomous fish have been neglected and remain something of a mystery. Now, a study of 158 catfish species, published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology, has catalogued the presence of venom glands and investigated their biological effects.

Related Articles


Jeremy Wright, from the University of Michigan, USA, carried out the investigation. He said, "I used histological and toxicological techniques to elucidate the diversity and distribution of venomous catfish. I found that at least 1250, and possibly over 1600 species of catfish may be venomous, a number far greater than any previous estimate of venomous catfish diversity"

Catfish venom glands are found in association with sharp, bony spines along the leading edge of the dorsal and pectoral fins, which can be locked into place when the catfish is threatened. When a spine enters a potential predator, the membrane surrounding the venom gland cells is torn, releasing venom into the wound. Wright describes how catfish venoms are neurotoxic and hemolytic, and are capable of producing a variety of effects such as severe pain, ischemia, muscle spasm and respiratory distress. However, as any one species examined produces no more than three distinct toxins in its venom, each species may not display all of these properties.

Wright's analyses indicate that there are at least two independent evolutionary origins of catfish venom glands. In addition, the toxic peptides show strong similarities with, and might be derived from, previously characterized toxins found in catfish epidermal secretions. "Further examination of the chemical composition of the venoms will provide valuable insight into the mechanisms and potential selective factors driving venom evolution in fishes," comments Wright.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Venomous catfish described." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091203222139.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2009, December 4). Venomous catfish described. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091203222139.htm
BioMed Central. "Venomous catfish described." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091203222139.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Going Ape: Sierra Leone Chimpanzees Hail Ebola Retreat

Going Ape: Sierra Leone Chimpanzees Hail Ebola Retreat

AFP (Apr. 21, 2015) As money runs out at Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone, around 85 chimps are facing homelessness. The centre closed when the Ebola epidemic was ravaging the country but now that closure is beginning to look permanent. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blue Bell Recalls All Products

Blue Bell Recalls All Products

AP (Apr. 21, 2015) Blue Bell Creameries voluntary recalled for all of its products after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeria, a potentially deadly bacteria. Blue Bell&apos;s President and CEO issued a video statement. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) Five years on, the possible environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill includes a sustained die-off of bottlenose dolphins, among others. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the biggest oil spill in US history. BP recently reported the Gulf is recovering well, but scientists paint a different picture. Duration: 02:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins