Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potent neurotoxin found in flatworm: Neurotoxin tetrodotoxin found in terrestrial environment for first time

Date:
June 25, 2014
Source:
PLOS
Summary:
The neurotoxin tetrodotoxin has been found for the first time in two species living out of water. Tetrodotoxin is a potent paralysis-inducing neurotoxin found in a multitude of aquatic organisms, but until now has not been found in terrestrial invertebrates.

The neurotoxin tetrodotoxin (TTX) has been found for the first time in two species living out of water, according to a study published June 25 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Amber Stokes from California State University, Bakersfield, California and colleagues.

Tetrodotoxin is a potent paralysis-inducing neurotoxin found in a multitude of aquatic organisms, but until now has not been found in terrestrial invertebrates. TTX is thought to originate from marine bacteria and accumulate in certain organisms through ingestion -- pufferfish for example -- but the origins and ecological functions of TTX in most taxa remain mysterious. The authors of this study found that two invasive species of terrestrial flatworm exhibit behaviors indicating possible use of a toxin like TTX to subdue large earthworm prey. The researchers analyzed TTX levels in two species of terrestrial flatworm and investigated its distribution throughout their bodies.

Using analytical characterization techniques, the authors confirmed TTX's presence in the flatworms and use of TTX during predation to subdue large prey. Additionally, they found TTX in the egg capsules of one of the flatworms, which may indicate a possible further role in defense.

According to the authors, these data suggest for the first time a potential route for TTX bioaccumulation in terrestrial systems.

Amber Stokes added, "This study is important as it is the first to show tetrodotoxin in a terrestrial invertebrate, which will allow further study of the production or accumulation of tetrodotoxin in terrestrial systems."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Amber N. Stokes, Peter K. Ducey, Lorin Neuman-Lee, Charles T. Hanifin, Susannah S. French, Michael E. Pfrender, Edmund D. Brodie, Edmund D. Brodie Jr. Confirmation and Distribution of Tetrodotoxin for the First Time in Terrestrial Invertebrates: Two Terrestrial Flatworm Species (Bipalium adventitium and Bipalium kewense). PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (6): e100718 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100718

Cite This Page:

PLOS. "Potent neurotoxin found in flatworm: Neurotoxin tetrodotoxin found in terrestrial environment for first time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625201900.htm>.
PLOS. (2014, June 25). Potent neurotoxin found in flatworm: Neurotoxin tetrodotoxin found in terrestrial environment for first time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625201900.htm
PLOS. "Potent neurotoxin found in flatworm: Neurotoxin tetrodotoxin found in terrestrial environment for first time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625201900.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

AP (Aug. 27, 2014) Thundering surf spawned by Hurricane Marie pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town. High surf warnings were posted for Los Angeles County south through Orange County. (Aug. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

AP (Aug. 26, 2014) Researchers at UC Berkeley are testing a prototype of an earthquake early warning system that California is pursuing years after places like Mexico and Japan already have them up and running. (August 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brazil Tries Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Fight Dengue

Brazil Tries Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Fight Dengue

AFP (Aug. 25, 2014) A factory in the industrial state of Sao Paulo produces genetically modified mosquitoes to fight dengue, a deadly tropical disease more prevalent in Brazil than anywhere else in the world. Duration: 00:57 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:
from the past week

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