Project abstract for group jansa

Identifying Genes Involved in Snake-Venom Resistance in Didelphis virginiana

The aim of this project is to identify genes from the vascular transcriptome that are under positive selection in the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana). A previous study identified a gene under positive selection that encodes a blood-born protein that is partly responsible for the Virginia opossum's resistance to snake venom (von Willebrand Factor (vWF)). Identifying genes in the opossum's vascular transcriptome that are under positive selection is expected to uncover more proteins that play a roll in the opossum's venom resistance. Many of these proteins are expected to be clotting factors and other blood-born proteins that are produced by endothelium and heart tissue.