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Boiga irregularis

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Gordon H Rodda – 1st expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • movements and activity of juvenile brown treesnakes Boiga irregularis
    Copeia, 2014
    Co-Authors: Bjorn Lardner, Julie A. Savidge, Robert N Reed, Gordon H Rodda

    Abstract:

    Understanding the spatial ecology and foraging strategy of invasive animals is essential for success in control or eradication. We studied movements and activity in juvenile Brown Treesnakes on Guam, as this population segment has proven particularly difficult to control. Distance between daytime refugia (from telemetry of 18 juveniles, 423–800 mm snout–vent length) ranged from 0–118 m (n  =  86), with a grand mean of 43 m. There were tendencies for shorter snake movements on nights directly following a full moon and on dry nights, but variation among snakes was of a larger magnitude and would greatly reduce chances to detect moon or rain effects unless corrected for. Snake activity was estimated from audio recordings of signals from “tipping” radio transmitters, analyzed for pulse period and amplitude. Activity was highest in the hours immediately after sunset, and gradually declined throughout the night before dropping abruptly in conjunction with sunrise. Snake activity was higher on rainy nights, and …

  • Do predators control prey species abundance? An experimental test with brown treesnakes on Guam
    Ecology, 2012
    Co-Authors: Earl W. Campbell, Thomas H Fritts, Amy A. Yackel Adams, Sarah J. Converse, Gordon H Rodda

    Abstract:

    The effect of predators on the abundance of prey species is a topic of ongoing debate in ecology; the effect of snake predators on their prey has been less debated, as there exists a general consensus that snakes do not negatively influence the abundance of their prey. However, this viewpoint has not been adequately tested. We quantified the effect of brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis) predation on the abundance and size of lizards on Guam by contrasting lizards in two 1-ha treatment plots of secondary forest from which snakes had been removed and excluded vs. two 1-ha control plots in which snakes were monitored but not removed or excluded. We removed resident snakes from the treatment plots with snake traps and hand capture, and snake immigration into these plots was precluded by electrified snake barriers. Lizards were sampled in all plots quarterly for a year following snake elimination in the treatment plots. Following the completion of this experiment, we used total removal sampling to census lizar…

  • scented guide ropes as a method to enhance brown treesnake Boiga irregularis trap capture success on guam
    Journal of Herpetology, 2011
    Co-Authors: Lisa Mason, Julie A. Savidge, Gordon H Rodda, Amy Yackel A Adams

    Abstract:

    Abstract Current methods for controlling the invasive Brown Treesnake (Boiga irregularis) on Guam include a modified minnow trap with a live mouse lure. We investigated the effects on capture success of augmenting these traps with scented guide ropes leading to trap entrances. Initial screening of scent preferences was based on time spent in scented and unscented arms of a Y-maze. Preferences of large and small snakes were scored for six different prey scents (live and carrion gecko, skink, and mouse). Large snakes spent more time in the maze arm scented with live gecko and carrion gecko, whereas small snakes spent more time in the arm scented with carrion mouse and carrion gecko. After the laboratory study, a pilot trapping session was conducted in the field using three treatments (live mouse-scented ropes, carrion gecko-scented ropes, and carrion mouse-scented ropes) and two controls (traps with unscented guide ropes and those with no ropes attached). Contrary to laboratory results, live mouse-scented r…

Stephen P Mackessy – 2nd expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • transcriptomics guided bottom up and top down venomics of neonate and adult specimens of the arboreal rear fanged brown treesnake Boiga irregularis from guam
    Journal of Proteomics, 2018
    Co-Authors: Daniel Petras, Stephen P Mackessy, Anthony J. Saviola, Cassandra M. Modahl, Libia Sanz, Alicia Pérez, Elena Juárez, Seth Frietze, Pieter C. Dorrestein, Juan J Calvete

    Abstract:

    The Brown Treesnake (Boiga irregularis) is an arboreal, nocturnal, rear-fanged venomous snake native to northern and eastern regions of Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. It was inadvertently introduced onto the island of Guam during the late 1940’s to early 1950’s, and it has caused massive declines and extirpations of the native bird, lizard, and mammal populations. In the current study, we report the characterization of the venom proteome of an adult and a neonate B. irregularis specimens from Guam by a combination of venom gland transcriptomic and venomic analyses. Venom gland transcriptomic analysis of an adult individual identified toxins belonging to 18 protein families, with three-finger toxin isoforms being the most abundantly expressed transcripts, comprising 94% of all venom protein transcript reads. Transcripts for PIII-metalloproteinases, C-type lectins, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, acetylcholinesterases, natriuretic peptides, ficolins, phospholipase A2 (PLA2) inhibitors, PLA2s, vascular endothelial growth factors, Kunitz-type protease inhibitors, cystatins, phospholipase Bs, cobra venom factors, waprins, SVMP inhibitors, matrix metalloproteinases, and hyaluronidases were also identified, albeit, at very low abundances ranging from 0.05% to 1.7% of the transcriptome. The venom proteomes of neonate and adult B. irregularis were also both overwhelmingly (78 and 84%, respectively) dominated by monomeric and dimeric 3FTxs, followed by moderately abundant (21% (N) and 13% (A)) CRISPs, low abundance (1% (N), 3% (A)) PIII-SVMPs, and very low abundance (<0.01%) PLA2 and SVMP inhibitors. The differences in relative toxin abundances identified between neonate and adult snakes likely correlates to shifts in prey preference between the two age classes, from nearly-exclusively lizards to lizards, birds and small mammals. Immunoaffinity antivenomics with experimentally designed rabbit anti-Brown Treesnake (anti-BTS) venom IgGs against homologous venom from adult snakes demonstrated that CRISPs, PIII-SVMPs, and 60-70% of 3FTxs were effectively immunocaptured. Western blot analysis showed that all venom proteins were recognized by anti-BTS IgGs, and cross-reactivity with other rear-fanged snake venoms was also observed. Incubation of anti-BTS venom IgGs with crude B. irregularis venom resulted in a significant decrease in proteolytic (SVMP) activity against azocasein. These results provide the first comparative venomic and anti-venomic analysis of neonate and adult B. irregularis from Guam, further highlighting evolutionary trends in venom composition among rear-fanged venomous snakes. SIGNIFICANCE PARAGRAPH The Brown Treesnake (Boiga irregularis) has caused extensive ecological and economic damage to the island of Guam where it has become a classic example of the negative impacts of invasive species. In the current study, we report the first combined transcriptomic and proteomic analysis of B. irregularis venom of Guam origin. The transcriptome of an adult snake contained toxin sequences belonging to 18 protein families, with three-finger toxin (3FTx) isoforms being the most abundant and representing 94% of all venom protein transcript reads. Our bottom-up and top-down venomic analyses confirmed that 3FTxs are the major components of B. irregularis venom, and a comparative analysis of neonate and adult venoms demonstrate a clear ontogenetic shift in toxin abundance, likely driven by dietary variation between the two age classes. Second-generation antivenomics and Western blot analysis using purified anti-Brown Treesnake rabbit serum IgGs (anti-BTS IgGs) showed strong immunoreactivity toward B. irregularis venom. Interestingly, our anti-BTS IgGs did not cross-react with 3FTxs found in several other rear-fanged snake venoms, or against 3FTxs in the venom of the elapid Ophiophagus hannah, indicating that epitopes in these 3FTx molecules are quite distinct.

  • Transcriptomics-guided bottom-up and top-down venomics of neonate and adult specimens of the arboreal rear-fanged Brown Treesnake, Boiga irregularis, from Guam.
    Journal of Proteomics, 2017
    Co-Authors: Daniel Petras, Anthony J. Saviola, Cassandra M. Modahl, Libia Sanz, Alicia Pérez, Elena Juárez, Seth Frietze, Pieter C. Dorrestein, Stephen P Mackessy

    Abstract:

    : The Brown Treesnake (Boiga irregularis) is an arboreal, nocturnal, rear-fanged venomous snake native to northern and eastern regions of Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. It was inadvertently introduced onto the island of Guam during the late 1940’s to early 1950’s, and it has caused massive declines and extirpations of the native bird, lizard, and mammal populations. In the current study, we report the characterization of the venom proteome of an adult and a neonate B. irregularis specimens from Guam by a combination of venom gland transcriptomic and venomic analyses. Venom gland transcriptomic analysis of an adult individual identified toxins belonging to 18 protein families, with three-finger toxin isoforms being the most abundantly expressed transcripts, comprising 94% of all venom protein transcript reads. Transcripts for PIII-metalloproteinases, C-type lectins, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, acetylcholinesterases, natriuretic peptides, ficolins, phospholipase A2 (PLA2) inhibitors, PLA2s, vascular endothelial growth factors, Kunitz-type protease inhibitors, cystatins, phospholipase Bs, cobra venom factors, waprins, SVMP inhibitors, matrix metalloproteinases, and hyaluronidases were also identified, albeit, at very low abundances ranging from 0.05% to 1.7% of the transcriptome. The venom proteomes of neonate and adult B. irregularis were also both overwhelmingly (78 and 84%, respectively) dominated by monomeric and dimeric 3FTxs, followed by moderately abundant (21% (N) and 13% (A)) CRISPs, low abundance (1% (N), 3% (A)) PIII-SVMPs, and very low abundance (

  • Irditoxin, a novel covalently linked heterodimeric three-finger toxin with high taxon-specific neurotoxicity
    The FASEB Journal, 2008
    Co-Authors: Joanna Pawlak, Stephen P Mackessy, Nicole M Sixberry, Enrico A. Stura, Renée Ménez, André Ménez, Selvanayagam Nirthanan, R. Manjunatha Kini

    Abstract:

    A novel heterodimeric three-finger neurotoxin, irditoxin, was isolated from venom of the brown treesnake Boiga irregularis (Colubridae). Irditoxin subunit amino acid sequences were determined by Edman degradation and cDNA sequencing. The crystal structure revealed two subunits with a three-finger protein fold, typical for “nonconventional” toxins such as denmotoxin, bucandin, and candoxin. This is the first colubrid three-finger toxin dimer, covalently connected via an interchain disulfide bond. Irditoxin showed taxon-specific lethality toward birds and lizards and was nontoxic toward mice. It produced a potent neuromuscular blockade at the avian neuromuscular junction (IC50=10 nM), comparable to α-bungarotoxin, but was three orders of magnitude less effective at the mammalian neuromuscular junction. Covalently linked heterodimeric three-finger toxins found in colubrid venoms constitute a new class of venom peptides, which may be a useful source of new neurobiology probes and therapeutic leads.—Pawlak, J….

Julie A. Savidge – 3rd expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • movements and activity of juvenile brown treesnakes Boiga irregularis
    Copeia, 2014
    Co-Authors: Bjorn Lardner, Julie A. Savidge, Robert N Reed, Gordon H Rodda

    Abstract:

    Understanding the spatial ecology and foraging strategy of invasive animals is essential for success in control or eradication. We studied movements and activity in juvenile Brown Treesnakes on Guam, as this population segment has proven particularly difficult to control. Distance between daytime refugia (from telemetry of 18 juveniles, 423–800 mm snout–vent length) ranged from 0–118 m (n  =  86), with a grand mean of 43 m. There were tendencies for shorter snake movements on nights directly following a full moon and on dry nights, but variation among snakes was of a larger magnitude and would greatly reduce chances to detect moon or rain effects unless corrected for. Snake activity was estimated from audio recordings of signals from “tipping” radio transmitters, analyzed for pulse period and amplitude. Activity was highest in the hours immediately after sunset, and gradually declined throughout the night before dropping abruptly in conjunction with sunrise. Snake activity was higher on rainy nights, and …

  • scented guide ropes as a method to enhance brown treesnake Boiga irregularis trap capture success on guam
    Journal of Herpetology, 2011
    Co-Authors: Lisa Mason, Julie A. Savidge, Gordon H Rodda, Amy Yackel A Adams

    Abstract:

    Abstract Current methods for controlling the invasive Brown Treesnake (Boiga irregularis) on Guam include a modified minnow trap with a live mouse lure. We investigated the effects on capture success of augmenting these traps with scented guide ropes leading to trap entrances. Initial screening of scent preferences was based on time spent in scented and unscented arms of a Y-maze. Preferences of large and small snakes were scored for six different prey scents (live and carrion gecko, skink, and mouse). Large snakes spent more time in the maze arm scented with live gecko and carrion gecko, whereas small snakes spent more time in the arm scented with carrion mouse and carrion gecko. After the laboratory study, a pilot trapping session was conducted in the field using three treatments (live mouse-scented ropes, carrion gecko-scented ropes, and carrion mouse-scented ropes) and two controls (traps with unscented guide ropes and those with no ropes attached). Contrary to laboratory results, live mouse-scented r…

  • excluding nontarget species from brown tree snake Boiga irregularis reptilia colubridae bait stations experimental tests of station design and placement
    Pacific Science, 2011
    Co-Authors: Tom Mathies, Russell Scarpino, Brenna A Levine, Craig S Clark, Julie A. Savidge

    Abstract:

    Abstract: Bait stations with toxic baits are an emerging technology for eradication of the invasive brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) on Guam, yet potential interferences by nontarget species are largely unknown. We tested the efficacies of three bait station designs together with three commonly used station support structures to exclude nonnative rats (roof rat, Rattus rattus; Norway rat, Rattus norvegicus; Polynesian rat, Rattus exulans) and native coconut crabs (Birgus latro). When directly presented, all species readily consumed the dead neonatal mouse baits (nontoxic) including those replicating decomposing baits in the field. When bait stations were made easily accessible by placement near ground level, all rat species were able to enter all station types, but some individual roof rats and Norway rats exhibited apparent neophobia. When stations were placed up on support structures, simulating those in the field (∼1 m above ground level), numbers of station accessions by roof rats and Norway rats …