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Melanization in response to wounding is ancestral in arthropods and conserved in albino cave species

Bilandžija, Helena; Laslo, Mara; Porter, Megan L.; Fong, Daniel W. (2017) Melanization in response to wounding is ancestral in arthropods and conserved in albino cave species. Scientific Reports, 7 . ISSN 2045-2322

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Many species adapted to aphotic subterranean habitats have lost all body pigmentation. Yet, melanization is an important component of wound healing in arthropods. We amputated appendages in a variety of cave-adapted and surface-dwelling arthropods. A dark clot formed at the site of injury in most species tested, including even albino cave-adapted species. The dark coloration of the clots was due to melanin deposition. The speed of wound melanization was uncorrelated with a difference in metabolic rate between surface and cave populations of an amphipod. The chelicerate Limulus polyphemus, all isopod crustaceans tested, and the cave shrimp Troglocaris anophthalmus did not melanize wounds. The loss of wound melanization in T. anophthalmus was an apomorphy associated with adaptation to subterranean habitats, but in isopods it appeared to be a symplesiomorphy unrelated to colonization of subterranean habitats. We conclude that wound melanization i) is an important part of innate immunity because it was present in all major arthropod lineages, ii) is retained in most albino cave species, and iii) has been lost several times during arthropod evolution, indicating melanization is not an indispensable component of wound healing in arthropods.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: wound healing ; melanin ; cave albino arthropods
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology
Divisions: Division of Molecular Biology
Depositing User: Helena Bilandžija
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2018 12:58
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-17471-2

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