Title

The Effect of Dragline Silk Extraction on the Expression Patter of Egg Case Silk Components in the Lactrodectus hesperus Spider

Poster Number

16

Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

Spiders produce a variety of silks that display extraordinary molecular and mechanical properties. These different silk types are composed of distinct proteins that are formed in seven specialized glands for typical orb-weaving spiders, such as the black widow spider Latrodectus hesperus. Previous investigations have identified one of the principal, specialized glands as being ampullate-shaped, which has been named the major ampullate gland. The major ampullate gland’s main purpose is to produce silk that will hold the weight of the spider as a dragline, which is referred to as the safety line for the spider. A second silk-producing gland, the tubuliform, is responsible for the production of egg case silk which protects the spider’s offspring during development and is very important in the reproduction of the spider. After one day of gravity silking, the spider’s major ampullate and tubuliform glands were dissected out and particular mRNAs were analyzed through quantitative real time PCR for changes in their expression pattern. In particular we investigated transcripts that encode proteins involved in either dragline or egg case silk. Our hypothesis is that after one day of extracting dragline silk from the female Lactrodectus hesperus, the tubuliform gland will not show a significant change in mRNA production for two chief components of egg case silk, TuSp1 and ECP-1. Conversely, we anticipate that mRNA levels for MaSp1 and MaSp2, which are important constituents of dragline silk, will show increased mRNA synthesis. Results will be discussed.

Location

Callison Hall

Start Date

6-5-2006 10:00 AM

End Date

6-5-2006 12:00 PM

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

The Effect of Dragline Silk Extraction on the Expression Patter of Egg Case Silk Components in the Lactrodectus hesperus Spider

Callison Hall

Spiders produce a variety of silks that display extraordinary molecular and mechanical properties. These different silk types are composed of distinct proteins that are formed in seven specialized glands for typical orb-weaving spiders, such as the black widow spider Latrodectus hesperus. Previous investigations have identified one of the principal, specialized glands as being ampullate-shaped, which has been named the major ampullate gland. The major ampullate gland’s main purpose is to produce silk that will hold the weight of the spider as a dragline, which is referred to as the safety line for the spider. A second silk-producing gland, the tubuliform, is responsible for the production of egg case silk which protects the spider’s offspring during development and is very important in the reproduction of the spider. After one day of gravity silking, the spider’s major ampullate and tubuliform glands were dissected out and particular mRNAs were analyzed through quantitative real time PCR for changes in their expression pattern. In particular we investigated transcripts that encode proteins involved in either dragline or egg case silk. Our hypothesis is that after one day of extracting dragline silk from the female Lactrodectus hesperus, the tubuliform gland will not show a significant change in mRNA production for two chief components of egg case silk, TuSp1 and ECP-1. Conversely, we anticipate that mRNA levels for MaSp1 and MaSp2, which are important constituents of dragline silk, will show increased mRNA synthesis. Results will be discussed.