Michael K. Richardson

Merijn A G de Bakker6
Freek J Vonk6
Frans Witte4
Learn More
Among extant reptiles only two lineages are known to have evolved venom delivery systems, the advanced snakes and helodermatid lizards (Gila Monster and Beaded Lizard). Evolution of the venom system is thought to underlie the impressive radiation of the advanced snakes (2,500 of 3,000 snake species). In contrast, the lizard venom system is thought to be(More)
Snakes are limbless predators, and many species use venom to help overpower relatively large, agile prey. Snake venoms are complex protein mixtures encoded by several multilocus gene families that function synergistically to cause incapacitation. To examine venom evolution, we sequenced and interrogated the genome of a venomous snake, the king cobra(More)
The current study provides a detailed description of the pattern of exploratory behaviors encountered in adult zebrafish when exposed to a novel/unfamiliar environment using the light/dark box and open field tests. We also document the impact of an acute stressor (restraint stress) given just prior the onset of behavioral testing. We report the following(More)
  • Freek J Vonk, Jeroen F Admiraal, Kate Jackson, Ram Reshef, Merijn A G de Bakker, Kim Vanderschoot +10 others
  • 2008
Many advanced snakes use fangs-specialized teeth associated with a venom gland-to introduce venom into prey or attacker. Various front- and rear-fanged groups are recognized, according to whether their fangs are positioned anterior (for example cobras and vipers) or posterior (for example grass snakes) in the upper jaw. A fundamental controversy in snake(More)
It is generally assumed that the characteristic deregionalized body plan of species with a snake-like morphology evolved through a corresponding homogenization of Hox gene expression domains along the primary axis. Here, we examine the expression of Hox genes in snake embryos and show that a collinear pattern of Hox expression is retained within the(More)
Low oxygen levels (hypoxia) play a role in clinical conditions such as stroke, chronic ischemia, and cancer. To better understand these diseases, it is crucial to study the responses of vertebrates to hypoxia. Among vertebrates, some teleosts have developed the ability to adapt to extremely low oxygen levels. We have studied long-term adaptive responses to(More)
BACKGROUND In humans, ethanol exposure during pregnancy causes a spectrum of developmental defects (fetal alcohol syndrome or FAS). Individuals vary in phenotypic expression. Zebrafish embryos develop FAS-like features after ethanol exposure. In this study, we ask whether stage-specific effects of ethanol can be identified in the zebrafish, and if so,(More)
The bird wing is of special interest to students of homology and avian evolution. Fossil and developmental data give conflicting indications of digit homology if a pentadactyl "archetype" is assumed. Morphological signs of a vestigial digit I are seen in bird embryos, but no digit-like structure develops in wild-type embryos. To examine the developmental(More)
The light/dark preference test is commonly used to assess anxiety-like phenotypes and validate the pharmacological effects of neuroactive compounds. This test has been recently adapted for adult zebrafish but has not yet been characterized and pharmacologically validated for young juvenile zebrafish. In the present study, we provide a detailed description(More)
BACKGROUND In the drug discovery pipeline, safety pharmacology is a major issue. The zebrafish has been proposed as a model that can bridge the gap in this field between cell assays (which are cost-effective, but low in data content) and rodent assays (which are high in data content, but less cost-efficient). However, zebrafish assays are only likely to be(More)