June 20, 2019
All spiders create silk, although some do not create webs, while some use a wide variety of silk types to craft intricate webs. The orb weaving spiders are known to produce up to seven kinds of silk to create their aerial capture webs, including a sticky glue that they use to keep their prey stuck in their webs.
For the first time researchers from the University of Maryland have sequenced two spider glue genes, Aggregate Spidroin 1 and 2 (AgSp1 and AgSp2 for short). The genes were significantly longer than the team anticipated and took two years to sequence.
The team believes that this information will be useful, in conjunction with the genetic information of other silk types, to help produce adhesives inspired by nature, for a variety of different purposes in the future, including organic pest control. One possible application would be to spray the glue onto the external walls of buildings where they keep their livestock in order to catch the insects before they irritate or infect the animals.
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