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SSA could not be possible without the generous support of Drs. Herbert A. and Betty Lou Lubs and the Science, Society, and the Arts Research Conference Endowment. We are deeply grateful!
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Friday, March 17 • 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Easel 18: Analyzing RTA-Clade Spider Silk Gene Proteins to Test Conflicting Phylogenetic Hypotheses of Orb-web Evolution

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The orb-web is an architecturally advanced mechanism. There are conflicting hypotheses as to how two superfamilies, Araneoidea and Deinopoidea are related. The first hypothesis states that Araneoidea and Deinopoidea share a recent common ancestor and that the two superfamilies’ relationship is most accurately described by their morphological characteristics. However, the second hypothesis states that while Araneoidea and Deinopoidea are closely related, Deinopoidea is also sister to the RTA-Clade. Spiders in the RTA-Clade do not spin orb-webs, but have been found to share a significant number of housekeeping genes with Deinopoids. We will use the genes collected from the silk glands to determine what silk proteins are encoded for by the genes from each species. If these protein encoding genes are found in RTA-Clade species and are orthologous to genes collected from Deinopoids and Araneoids, then we will be able to deduce how and when the proteins evolved.

Friday March 17, 2017 3:00pm - 4:15pm EDT
Leyburn Library