Title

Liquid and solid spider silk analysis in Latrodectus Hespserus

Poster Number

29

Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

Spiders store silk as a liquid substance in glands within their body. We expect that the cause for property differences from liquid to solid silk comes from molecular folding. To test this hypothesis we preformed micro-dissections of black widow spiders (Latrodectus Hesperus), excising silk glands and preforming Ci3 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) of them. NMR was preformed by B.A. Lawrence at Eastern Illinois University on a sample of 58 major ampulate glands. We compared the NMR spectrum of solid dragline silk with the spectrum of the major ampulate gland sample. There are measurable shifts in peaks of the alanine carbons from liquid state to solid. The property differences may be from molecular structure going form random coil to F-sheet conformation. Further analysis will be done on the other types of silk glands found in the spider.

Location

Pacific Geosciences Center

Start Date

20-4-2002 9:00 AM

End Date

20-4-2002 5:00 PM

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Apr 20th, 9:00 AM Apr 20th, 5:00 PM

Liquid and solid spider silk analysis in Latrodectus Hespserus

Pacific Geosciences Center

Spiders store silk as a liquid substance in glands within their body. We expect that the cause for property differences from liquid to solid silk comes from molecular folding. To test this hypothesis we preformed micro-dissections of black widow spiders (Latrodectus Hesperus), excising silk glands and preforming Ci3 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) of them. NMR was preformed by B.A. Lawrence at Eastern Illinois University on a sample of 58 major ampulate glands. We compared the NMR spectrum of solid dragline silk with the spectrum of the major ampulate gland sample. There are measurable shifts in peaks of the alanine carbons from liquid state to solid. The property differences may be from molecular structure going form random coil to F-sheet conformation. Further analysis will be done on the other types of silk glands found in the spider.