Venom composition of neglected Bothropoid snakes from the Amazon Rainforest: ecological and toxinological implications

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Snake venoms have evolved in several families of Caenophidae, and their toxins have been assumed to be biochemical weapons with a role as a trophic adaptation. However, it remains unclear how venom contributes to the success of venomous species for adaptation to different environments. Here we compared the venoms from Bothrocophias hyoprora, Bothrops taeniatus, Bothrops bilineatus smaragdinus, Bothrops brazili, and Bothrops atrox collected in the Amazon Rainforest, aiming to understand the ecological and toxinological consequences of venom composition. Transcriptomic and proteomic analyses indicated that the venoms presented the same toxin groups characteristic from bothropoids, but with distinct isoforms with variable qualitative and quantitative abundances, contributing to distinct enzymatic and toxic effects. Despite the particularities of each venom, commercial Bothrops antivenom recognized the venom components and neutralized the lethality of all species. No clear features could be observed between venoms from arboreal and terrestrial habitats, nor in the dispersion of the species throughout the Amazon habitats, supporting the notion that venom composition may not shape the ecological or toxinological characteristics of these snake species and that other factors influence their foraging or dispersal in different ecological niches.
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