A study on the genetic population structure and the tetrodotoxin content of rough-skinned newts, Taricha granulosa (Salamandridae), from their northern range of distribution

Dietrich Mebs, Julio V. Schneider, Oskar Schröder, Mari Yotsu-Yamashita, John R. Harley, Linda Mogk, Gunther Köhler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Rough-skinned newts, Taricha granulosa, which contain tetrodotoxin (TTX), a potent neurotoxin, are widely distributed along the west-coast of North America up to British Columbia (BC), Canada, and Southeast Alaska. Their genetic population structure using DNA-microsatellites and the TTX-content of specimens from British Columbia (Prince Rupert area) and Alaska (Revillagigedo Island, Shelter Island, and Juneau) were analysed. TTX-concentrations were low in newts from BC and Revillagigedo Island, but high in specimens from mainland Juneau, which had been deliberately introduced from Shelter Island, where TTX was not detectable in the individuals sampled. No significant genetic differences were detected between these populations, which may correlate with the high intraspecies variability of TTX. It is still an open question, which factors favour or induce the toxin production in the newts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-41
Number of pages4
JournalToxicon
Volume206
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 30

Keywords

  • Genetic diversity
  • Microsatellites
  • Taricha granulosa
  • Tetrodotoxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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