[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

puffer fish toxins (was Re: Airfish! (absurdity))



Sorry for the huge tangent, but Ray McAllister <mcallist@gate.net>
asked about Tetraodontifom fish developing poison...  I'd like to make
sure it's clear that the fish don't manufacture the poison
(tetrodotoxin) themselves.  They harvest bacteria (genus _Vibrio_ is
all I know of it) which create the toxin.  A lot of other animals (red
bellied newts, blue ringed octopus, and arrow worms to name a few)
also harvest these bacteria toward the same end.  The toxin is a
blocker of the voltage-dependent sodium channel which means that it
has major-league nasty effects on the nervous systems of most all
animals.

-- 
Mickey Rowe     (rowe@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu)