Title

Characterization of the Expression Pattern of a Novel Gene Product That is Assembled Into Black Widow Egg Case Silk

Poster Number

18

Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

Spider egg case silk has many benefits and practical uses. They are highly recognized for their mechanical properties. The strength and elasticity of the silk makes it one of the toughest known natural fibers. It has a wide range of applications such as, body armor, medical devices, textiles, specialty ropes, and many more. Even with these favorable properties of spider silk, spiders have not been controlled for industrial or large-scale use because of their territorial and cannibalistic nature. In order to start making copies of silk fibers for further uses, more information is needed regarding the identities of the silk proteins involved as well as their specific functions in the fibers. When most of their properties are elucidated, then it could potentially be used for engineering applications. By using protein engineering, high yields of the spider silk protein can be generated for industrial and large-scale applications. Recently our lab has isolated a new gene that encodes a protein found in the black widow egg cases (used for reproduction), which has been named egg case silk protein 3 (ECP-3). We hypothesize that ECP-3 is expressed in the tubuliform gland, since other characterized egg case silk components (TuSp1, ECP-1, and ECP-2) all have been demonstrated to display tubuliform-restricted patterns of expression. For our experiment, we have dissected spiders to isolate RNAs from several different silk-producing glands. To examine the expression pattern for ECP-3, we have performed quantitative real time PCR analysis. Our supposition is that ECP-3 will display similar restricted patterns of expression which is similar to TuSp1, ECP-1 and ECP-3. Our findings and 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

Characterization of the Expression Pattern of a Novel Gene Product That is Assembled Into Black Widow Egg Case Silk

Callison Hall

Spider egg case silk has many benefits and practical uses. They are highly recognized for their mechanical properties. The strength and elasticity of the silk makes it one of the toughest known natural fibers. It has a wide range of applications such as, body armor, medical devices, textiles, specialty ropes, and many more. Even with these favorable properties of spider silk, spiders have not been controlled for industrial or large-scale use because of their territorial and cannibalistic nature. In order to start making copies of silk fibers for further uses, more information is needed regarding the identities of the silk proteins involved as well as their specific functions in the fibers. When most of their properties are elucidated, then it could potentially be used for engineering applications. By using protein engineering, high yields of the spider silk protein can be generated for industrial and large-scale applications. Recently our lab has isolated a new gene that encodes a protein found in the black widow egg cases (used for reproduction), which has been named egg case silk protein 3 (ECP-3). We hypothesize that ECP-3 is expressed in the tubuliform gland, since other characterized egg case silk components (TuSp1, ECP-1, and ECP-2) all have been demonstrated to display tubuliform-restricted patterns of expression. For our experiment, we have dissected spiders to isolate RNAs from several different silk-producing glands. To examine the expression pattern for ECP-3, we have performed quantitative real time PCR analysis. Our supposition is that ECP-3 will display similar restricted patterns of expression which is similar to TuSp1, ECP-1 and ECP-3. Our findings and results will be discussed.