Opendata, web and dolomites


Unravelling the enigmatic origin of venom secreting cells in sea anemone

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 TentaclesOfVenom project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the TentaclesOfVenom project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "TentaclesOfVenom" about.

toxins    intriguing    pharmacological    larval    encoding    molecular    developmental    stinging    venomous    expression    contribution    cell    genes    regarding    recruitment    understand    transgenic    arsenal    former    predatory    nematocytes    vsc    constructing    cells    animals    envenoming    function    nature    reporter    composition    profiles    anemone    vscs    limited    phylogenetic    light    trace    secretomes    instrumental    cocktail    histories    efficient    stages    secreting    venom    assisted    tools    nematostella    anemones    secretions    assays    situ    vectensis    examine    cnidarians    fascinating    evolve    gender    facs    hence    hybridization    probably    evolutionary    sites    understudied    underpinned    lines    starlet    synthesize    simplest    sea    ancient    origin    nematocyte    mainly    variation    sorting    sexes    biochemical    immunostaining    date    sheds    fluorescence    drug    technologies    till    omics    first    gland    regimes    feed    evolution   

Project "TentaclesOfVenom" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 91904

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Israel [IL]
 Project website
 Total cost 182˙509 €
 EC max contribution 182˙509 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-05-01   to  2017-04-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Evolution of venom, nature’s most complex cocktail, has underpinned the predatory success of venomous animals. Till date, research on venom has mainly focused on how genes encoding them evolve, and our knowledge regarding the evolutionary origin of venom-secreting cells (VSCs) and their secretions, has been limited. Understanding how venom and VSCs evolve in cnidarians - one of the simplest and probably the first venomous animals, such as sea anemones is not only fascinating as it sheds light on the evolution of their ancient venom-system, but may also be instrumental in the development of efficient nematocyte (stinging-cells) based drug-delivery tools. Identifying variation in venom-composition and sites of expression across various developmental stages and between the sexes (gender-specific expression) is also an understudied topic. The former is particularly intriguing in sea anemones, as their larval stages do not feed and yet synthesize toxins. Hence, in this project I propose to: trace the evolutionary origin of known VSCs (nematocytes and gland cells) in the starlet anemone, Nematostella vectensis, by constructing transgenic reporter lines; characterize venom-secretomes of VSCs using Fluorescence Assisted Cell Sorting (FACS) to determine the contribution of each VSC towards the venom arsenal; examine variation in venom-profiles and expression sites across the developmental stages and between the sexes using ‘omics’ technologies, in situ hybridization and immunostaining; test the biochemical activities (pharmacological assays) of the major and novel toxins identified; and examine the phylogenetic histories and the molecular evolutionary regimes of the major sea anemone toxins to understand the recruitment of genes into the envenoming function in one of the first venomous animals.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2015 Kartik Sunagar, Yehu Moran
The Rise and Fall of an Evolutionary Innovation: Contrasting Strategies of Venom Evolution in Ancient and Young Animals
published pages: e1005596, ISSN: 1553-7404, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005596
PLOS Genetics 11/10 2019-07-23
2015 Beata Ujvari, Nicholas R. Casewell, Kartik Sunagar, Kevin Arbuckle, Wolfgang Wüster, Nathan Lo, Denis O’Meally, Christa Beckmann, Glenn F. King, Evelyne Deplazes, Thomas Madsen
Widespread convergence in toxin resistance by predictable molecular evolution
published pages: 11911-11916, ISSN: 0027-8424, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1511706112
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112/38 2019-07-23
2018 Yaara Y Columbus-Shenkar, Maria Y Sachkova, Jason Macrander, Arie Fridrich, Vengamanaidu Modepalli, Adam M Reitzel, Kartik Sunagar, Yehu Moran
Dynamics of venom composition across a complex life cycle
published pages: , ISSN: 2050-084X, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.35014
eLife 7 2019-07-23
2018 Kartik Sunagar, Yaara Y Columbus-Shenkar, Arie Fridrich, Nadya Gutkovich, Reuven Aharoni, Yehu Moran
Cell type-specific expression profiling unravels the development and evolution of stinging cells in sea anemone
published pages: , ISSN: 1741-7007, DOI: 10.1186/s12915-018-0578-4
BMC Biology 16/1 2019-07-23

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