Program Director for Biology in the Department of Science, Mathematics & Technology Dr. M. Ryan Woodcock is co-author of a recent publication in the Journal Data in Brief, entitled “A de novo reference transcriptome for Bolitoglossa vallecula, an Andean mountain salamander in Colombia.” View this paper online.

The salamanders and newts make up an order of tailed amphibians grouped into seven families. These amphibians are important model species for biological research and possess an exceptional ability to regenerate complex structures; including the heart, brain, jaws, tail and complete limbs. So far, molecular genetic studies into salamander regeneration have come from two species in closely related families, namely the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum, Family Ambystomatidae) and the eastern red-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens, Family Salamandridae). There is a need to generate gene expression data from representative species from the other primary salamander families to gain a broader perspective on the genetic basis of regeneration. The salamander studied in this research paper, Bolitoglossa vallecula, is a unique terrestrial species belonging to the lungless salamanders (Family Plethodontidae) and is native to the interior forests in the Andean mountains of Colombia. This publication provides a cataloged resource for gene expression for B. vallecula, and this data should be useful to future comparative studies aimed at understanding important biological processes, such as immunity, wound healing, and the production of antimicrobial compounds.

Image Credits:
[1] Mauricio Rivera Correa (2009). Bolitoglossa vallecula [Online image]. Wikispecies. https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Bolitoglossa_vallecula#/media/File:Bolitoglossa_vallecula01.jpg

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