Characterising functional venom profiles of anthozoans and medusozoans within their ecological context

Lauren M. Ashwood, Raymond S. Norton, Eivind A.B. Undheim, David A. Hurwood, Peter J. Prentis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


This review examines the current state of knowledge regarding toxins from anthozoans (sea anemones, coral, zoanthids, corallimorphs, sea pens and tube anemones). We provide an overview of venom from phylum Cnidaria and review the diversity of venom composition between the two major clades (Medusozoa and Anthozoa). We highlight that the functional and ecological context of venom has implications for the temporal and spatial expression of protein and peptide toxins within class Anthozoa. Understanding the nuances in the regulation of venom arsenals has been made possible by recent advances in analytical technologies that allow characterisation of the spatial distributions of toxins. Furthermore, anthozoans are unique in that ecological roles can be assigned using tissue expression data, thereby circumventing some of the challenges related to pharmacological screening.

Original languageEnglish
Article number202
Number of pages19
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2020


  • Anthozoa
  • Cnidaria
  • Ecology
  • Medusozoa
  • Proteomics
  • Spatiotemporal expression
  • Toxins
  • Transcriptomics
  • Venom

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