04 February, 2011

Genetic diversity in Androctonus crassicauda in Turkey

Ozkan, Ahmet & Zafer have published a paper studying the genetic diversity of Androctonus crassicauda (Olivier, 1807) from Turkey.

Even though they did not find any morphological differences between the animals studied, the studied specimens did divide into two different genetic groups. Even though this didn't lead to any taxonomic conclusions, intraspecific genetic diversity like this might lead to diversity in venom content (and ultimately to differences in symptoms from scorpions sting from the same species).

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has been widely employed in phylogeographic and phylogenetic studies. In the present study, the genetic identification of the scorpion Androctonus crassicauda (Olivier, 1807) was carried out by using the 16S mitochondrial gene, since this scorpion represents the most important species in Turkey regarding scorpionism and antivenom production. Two genetic groups were found according to the sequence analysis results, while five different loci at the nucleotide level presented genetic variation in the 16S region when compared to a known A. crassicauda sequence data (GenBank, AJ277598). Nucleotide variations found in the current work constitute the first descriptive report for A. crassicauda. Moreover, future studies may enlighten the genetic and venom composition variations for this scorpion species.

Ozkan O, Ahmet C, Zafer K. A study on the genetic diversity of Androctonus crassicauda (Olivier, 1807; Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Turkey. Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins Including Tropical Diseases. 2010;16(4):599-606.

Family Buthidae

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