Title

Search for New Genes Involved in the Spider Silk Pathway

Poster Number

35

Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

Black widow spider silk is an excellent candidate for further scientific investigations since it possesses many desirable and beneficial traits for humans. It is not only environment friendly, but also very strong and flexible, allowing for broad applications in daily life. Silk can be used to engineer products such as light weight body armor, artificial ligaments and tendons, and airbags for the automobile industry. Over the past several years, researchers have identified seven different silk proteins that are spun into different fiber types. These silk proteins have great potential use for bioengineering applications. In order to search for genes that code for novel silk proteins, we screened a cDNA library prepared from the silk-producing glands from the black widow spider. To accomplish this task, single clone excisions were performed on over 25 different recombinant viruses. After the excision process, phagemid particles (contained the plasmid DNA molecules along with spider cDNA inserts) were transformed into bacteria. Following transformation, plasmid DNA was retrieved and subject to restriction digestion analysis with the enzymes EcoRI and XhoI. The digested products were analyzed by agarose gel electrophoresis to confirm the presence and size of the cDNA inserts. Currently, we are in the process of examining the cDNA inserts by DNA sequencing. We plan to analyze the cDNA sequences using bioinformatics to determine their identity. This study has the possibility of leading to the identification of unknown sequences that have ties to silk production.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom B

Start Date

1-5-2010 1:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2010 3:00 PM

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May 1st, 1:00 PM May 1st, 3:00 PM

Search for New Genes Involved in the Spider Silk Pathway

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom B

Black widow spider silk is an excellent candidate for further scientific investigations since it possesses many desirable and beneficial traits for humans. It is not only environment friendly, but also very strong and flexible, allowing for broad applications in daily life. Silk can be used to engineer products such as light weight body armor, artificial ligaments and tendons, and airbags for the automobile industry. Over the past several years, researchers have identified seven different silk proteins that are spun into different fiber types. These silk proteins have great potential use for bioengineering applications. In order to search for genes that code for novel silk proteins, we screened a cDNA library prepared from the silk-producing glands from the black widow spider. To accomplish this task, single clone excisions were performed on over 25 different recombinant viruses. After the excision process, phagemid particles (contained the plasmid DNA molecules along with spider cDNA inserts) were transformed into bacteria. Following transformation, plasmid DNA was retrieved and subject to restriction digestion analysis with the enzymes EcoRI and XhoI. The digested products were analyzed by agarose gel electrophoresis to confirm the presence and size of the cDNA inserts. Currently, we are in the process of examining the cDNA inserts by DNA sequencing. We plan to analyze the cDNA sequences using bioinformatics to determine their identity. This study has the possibility of leading to the identification of unknown sequences that have ties to silk production.