Title

Characterization of the expression pattern for a putative toxin in black widow silk glands

Poster Number

14

Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

Studies have shown that Latrodectus hesperus, black widow spiders, produce silks that illustrate remarkable strength and toughness that can be compared to steel. The ultimate goal, in the future, is to decipher the exact primary sequence for the silk protein so that it may be mass produced and integrated into many beneficial products, such as bullet-proof vests or a new type of medical suture. Using the silk could not only make our industrial products stronger, more elastic, cheaper, but also biodegradable, which would reduce much waste produced from non-bio-degradable products and be environmentally friendly.However, there has been an interesting discovery in recent years regarding black widow spider silk. Our lab has recently discovered that there may be neurotoxin proteins present in black widow spider silk-producing glands. This was discovered when researchers where analyzing the components that constitute black widow silk. However the glands that are responsible for producing toxins are located in glands near the fangs of the spider in the cephalic region, by the head. The glands that are responsible for producing silk are in the abdominal region of the spider, clearly away from where toxin proteins are produced.For our research we have decided to confirm if toxin proteins are being produced in web glands. We have selected to study the tubuliform gland, aggregate gland, major ampullate gland, and minor ampullate glands to look for the expression of toxin RNAs where they are not typically expressed. We have designed an experiment where we have created primers that use real time PCR to amplify the mRNA sequences in each of the glands. Using this analysis, we will examine whether some recently identified putative toxin proteins are expressed in silk-producing glands. Results will be discussed.

Location

Callison Hall

Start Date

6-5-2006 10:00 AM

End Date

6-5-2006 12:00 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 6th, 10:00 AM May 6th, 12:00 PM

Characterization of the expression pattern for a putative toxin in black widow silk glands

Callison Hall

Studies have shown that Latrodectus hesperus, black widow spiders, produce silks that illustrate remarkable strength and toughness that can be compared to steel. The ultimate goal, in the future, is to decipher the exact primary sequence for the silk protein so that it may be mass produced and integrated into many beneficial products, such as bullet-proof vests or a new type of medical suture. Using the silk could not only make our industrial products stronger, more elastic, cheaper, but also biodegradable, which would reduce much waste produced from non-bio-degradable products and be environmentally friendly.However, there has been an interesting discovery in recent years regarding black widow spider silk. Our lab has recently discovered that there may be neurotoxin proteins present in black widow spider silk-producing glands. This was discovered when researchers where analyzing the components that constitute black widow silk. However the glands that are responsible for producing toxins are located in glands near the fangs of the spider in the cephalic region, by the head. The glands that are responsible for producing silk are in the abdominal region of the spider, clearly away from where toxin proteins are produced.For our research we have decided to confirm if toxin proteins are being produced in web glands. We have selected to study the tubuliform gland, aggregate gland, major ampullate gland, and minor ampullate glands to look for the expression of toxin RNAs where they are not typically expressed. We have designed an experiment where we have created primers that use real time PCR to amplify the mRNA sequences in each of the glands. Using this analysis, we will examine whether some recently identified putative toxin proteins are expressed in silk-producing glands. Results will be discussed.