Title

Characterization Of Genes Involved In Black Widow Spider Development

Poster Number

2

Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

Lactrodectys hesperus, (black widow spiders), are reasonably close relative of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, yet have very different body plans. The development of the fly has proven to be similar in most animals, including us. To understand how spiders have tweaked this common animal developmental program, we chose to clone spider developmental regulatory genes. We created a Black Widow genomic library, a collection of clones containing all the DNA fragments from an organism. We are building a cDNA library (holding DNA versions of all active genes) and are using these libraries to identify spider developmental genes, including Pax-6 and others. We can use the fly genes to find the spider versions. These genes control development of body parts that differ in spiders and flies. For instance, in all studied animals, eye development is controlled by Pax-6, but all of these studied animals make only 2 eyes while spiders have 6 or 8. We can ask where spiders use Pax-6, and determine if Pax-6 defines all of the eyes, or if they use Pax-6 to pattern only 2 eyes. This will help us understand how a simple developmental system can be modified to change the body plan of organisms.

Location

Pacific Geosciences Center

Start Date

30-4-2005 1:00 PM

End Date

30-4-2005 3:00 PM

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Apr 30th, 1:00 PM Apr 30th, 3:00 PM

Characterization Of Genes Involved In Black Widow Spider Development

Pacific Geosciences Center

Lactrodectys hesperus, (black widow spiders), are reasonably close relative of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, yet have very different body plans. The development of the fly has proven to be similar in most animals, including us. To understand how spiders have tweaked this common animal developmental program, we chose to clone spider developmental regulatory genes. We created a Black Widow genomic library, a collection of clones containing all the DNA fragments from an organism. We are building a cDNA library (holding DNA versions of all active genes) and are using these libraries to identify spider developmental genes, including Pax-6 and others. We can use the fly genes to find the spider versions. These genes control development of body parts that differ in spiders and flies. For instance, in all studied animals, eye development is controlled by Pax-6, but all of these studied animals make only 2 eyes while spiders have 6 or 8. We can ask where spiders use Pax-6, and determine if Pax-6 defines all of the eyes, or if they use Pax-6 to pattern only 2 eyes. This will help us understand how a simple developmental system can be modified to change the body plan of organisms.