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Lateral gene transfer of a dermonecrotic toxin between spiders and bacteria
Motivation: Spiders in the genus Loxosceles, including the notoriously toxic brown recluse, cause severe necrotic skin lesions owing to the presence of a venom enzyme called sphingomyelinase D (SMaseD). This enzyme activity is unknown elsewhere in the animal kingdom but is shared with strains of pathogenic Corynebacteria that cause various illnesses in farm animals. The presence of the same toxic activity only in distantly related organisms poses an interesting and medically important questiondoi:10.1093/bioinformatics/bti811 pmid:16332712 fatcat:2msgnmxghvhr3fbhgloioe6bba