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The Middle Eastern Cousin
Comparative Venomics of Daboia palaestinae and Daboia russelii

We comparatively evaluated the venom composition and biochemical activity, morbidity- (haemorrhage, necrosis, nephrotoxicity) and toxicity-inflicting potentials of Russell's viper from India and the Palestine viper from Israel.

We show why the Indian Russell's viper is amongst the deadliest snakes in the world.

Finally, we sequenced the venom gland transcriptome of D. palaestinae, for the first time, and provide insights into venom regulation and production in this species.

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In the Evolutionary Venomics Lab at the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Indian Institute of Science (IISC), we investigate venomous animals and their venoms as model systems to address basic but broad questions in evolutionary biology and genetics. Using state-of-the-art technologies across multiple disciplines, we examine the fascinating evolutionary histories of the enigmatic lineages of venomous animals and their venoms.

 

A particular emphasis is placed on characterizing the composition, toxicity profiles and the evolutionary dynamics of venoms of the ‘big four’ snakes in India, as the lab will strive to deliver advanced antivenom with a commensurate improvement in safety, specificity, and affordability of treatment. The protein composition, and hence the pathogenic potential of venoms, can exhibit dramatic geographical variation, with different populations of the same species having starkly distinct venom profiles and, consequently, resulting in a significantly reduced antivenom efficiency. Therefore, the lab will unravel intra- and interspecific venom variability in medically significant Indian snakes and utilize this information for the molecular design of effective snakebite therapy.

 

The other broad aims of the lab include (a) investigating genomes, transcriptomes and proteomes of neglected venomous lineages (e.g., scorpions, spiders, centipedes, jellyfish, Hymenoptera, etc.) to understand the molecular basis of venom production, regulation, and evolutionary diversification; (b) understanding the genetic basis of venom resistance in the venomous animal and its prey/predators; (c) unravelling the evolutionary forces that have shaped the current distribution of venomous animals in the Indian subcontinent, and (d) investigating the therapeutic potential of venom proteins.

Our research is funded by...

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DBT-IISc Partnership Program for Advanced Research in Biological Sciences and BioEngineering

What's new?

Publication

Our paper on the comparative venomics of D. palaestinae and D. russelii is online.

Check out our paper on the second-generation Indian antivenom with nearly five times the potency of current antivenoms.

Distinction

Senji wins the best oral presentation award for ECRs at the International Society for Toxinology 2022 in Abu Dhabi!

Paulomi has been awarded the PMRF Fellowship!

News

Senji and Kartik deliver talks at IST 2022, Abu Dhabi.

 

 

Kartik delivers a talk at IST Asia-Pacific Conference 2021, Cairns, Australia.

Visit our YouTube channel to know more about our research