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Blueprint for a High-Performance Biomaterial: Full-Length Spider Dragline Silk Genes
Spider dragline (major ampullate) silk outperforms virtually all other natural and manmade materials in terms of tensile strength and toughness. For this reason, the mass-production of artificialExpand
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Molecular Evolution of α-Latrotoxin, the Exceptionally Potent Vertebrate Neurotoxin in Black Widow Spider Venom
Black widow spiders (members of the genus Latrodectus) are widely feared because of their potent neurotoxic venom. α-Latrotoxin is the vertebrate-specific toxin responsible for the dramatic effectsExpand
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Modular evolution of egg case silk genes across orb-weaving spider superfamilies.
Spider silk proteins (fibroins) are renowned for their extraordinary mechanical properties and biomimetic potential. Despite extensive evolutionary, ecological, and industrial interest in theseExpand
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Untangling spider silk evolution with spidroin terminal domains
BackgroundSpidroins are a unique family of large, structural proteins that make up the bulk of spider silk fibers. Due to the highly variable nature of their repetitive sequences, spidroinExpand
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The house spider genome reveals an ancient whole-genome duplication during arachnid evolution
BackgroundThe duplication of genes can occur through various mechanisms and is thought to make a major contribution to the evolutionary diversification of organisms. There is increasing evidence forExpand
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Dramatic expansion of the black widow toxin arsenal uncovered by multi-tissue transcriptomics and venom proteomics
BackgroundAnimal venoms attract enormous interest given their potential for pharmacological discovery and understanding the evolution of natural chemistries. Next-generation transcriptomics andExpand
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Silk Genes Support the Single Origin of Orb Webs
The orb web is a spectacular evolutionary innovation that enables spiders to catch flying prey. This elegant, geometric structure is woven with silk fibers that are renowned for their superiorExpand
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Multi-tissue transcriptomics of the black widow spider reveals expansions, co-options, and functional processes of the silk gland gene toolkit
BackgroundSpiders (Order Araneae) are essential predators in every terrestrial ecosystem largely because they have evolved potent arsenals of silk and venom. Spider silks are high performanceExpand
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Expansion and intragenic homogenization of spider silk genes since the Triassic: evidence from Mygalomorphae (tarantulas and their kin) spidroins.
Spiders spin a diverse array of silk fibers that are predominately composed of repetitive proteins (spidroins) encoded by a gene family. Characterization of this gene family has focused on spidroinsExpand
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House spider genome uncovers evolutionary shifts in the diversity and expression of black widow venom proteins associated with extreme toxicity
BackgroundBlack widow spiders are infamous for their neurotoxic venom, which can cause extreme and long-lasting pain. This unusual venom is dominated by latrotoxins and latrodectins, two proteinExpand
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