Title

The Splendor of Spider Silk

Poster Number

14

Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

Spider silk is a versatile protein fiber with a wide variety of uses. It possesses special characteristics such as high tensile strength, flexibility-, and is extremely lightweight. Because of these characteristics, our research has been geared towards effectively synthesizing silk proteins. In our studies, we used a cDNA library produced from silk- producing glands of the black widow spider to randomly isolate recombinant viruses carrying different spider genes. After removing the cDNAs from the viral chromosome, which led to plasmids carrying the spider silk genes, we sequenced the unknown spider silk genes in order to determine their significance/relevance spider silks. Starting with 50 randomly selected clones, only 35 were able to be sequenced after removal from the viral chromosome. From the 35 sequenced cDNAs, one of the most promising sequences was selected for further investigation. This sequence showed similarity to a collagen fiber protein that was deposited in the nrNCBI protein database and could possibly be involved in the formation of silk fibers.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom B

Start Date

2-5-2009 1:00 PM

End Date

2-5-2009 3:00 PM

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May 2nd, 1:00 PM May 2nd, 3:00 PM

The Splendor of Spider Silk

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom B

Spider silk is a versatile protein fiber with a wide variety of uses. It possesses special characteristics such as high tensile strength, flexibility-, and is extremely lightweight. Because of these characteristics, our research has been geared towards effectively synthesizing silk proteins. In our studies, we used a cDNA library produced from silk- producing glands of the black widow spider to randomly isolate recombinant viruses carrying different spider genes. After removing the cDNAs from the viral chromosome, which led to plasmids carrying the spider silk genes, we sequenced the unknown spider silk genes in order to determine their significance/relevance spider silks. Starting with 50 randomly selected clones, only 35 were able to be sequenced after removal from the viral chromosome. From the 35 sequenced cDNAs, one of the most promising sequences was selected for further investigation. This sequence showed similarity to a collagen fiber protein that was deposited in the nrNCBI protein database and could possibly be involved in the formation of silk fibers.