From “Orb-weaving spider Araneus ventricosus genome elucidates the spidroin gene catalogue” by Nobuaki Kono et al.. Licensed under CC-BY 4.0.
Members of the family Araneidae are common orb-weaving spiders, and they produce several types of silks throughout their behaviors and lives, from reproduction to foraging. Egg sac, prey capture thread, or dragline silk possesses characteristic mechanical properties, and its variability makes it a highly attractive material for ecological, evolutional, and industrial fields. However, the complete set of constituents of silks produced by a single species is still unclear, and novel spidroin genes as well as other proteins are still being found. Here, we present the first genome in genus Araneus together with the full set of spidroin genes with unamplified long reads and confirmed with transcriptome of the silk glands and proteome analysis of the dragline silk. The catalogue includes the first full length sequence of a paralog of major ampullate spidroin MaSp3, and several spider silk-constituting elements designated SpiCE. Family-wide phylogenomic analysis of Araneidae suggests the relatively recent acquisition of these genes, and multiple-omics analyses demonstrate that these proteins are critical components in the abdominal spidroin gland and dragline silk, contributing to the outstanding mechanical properties of silk in this group of species.
Spiber’s research initiatives into novel protein materials have benefited from subsidies provided by the ImPACT Program on behalf of the Japanese Cabinet’s Council for Science, Technology and Innovation.