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Chitin in the silk gland ducts of the spider Nephila edulis and the silkworm Bombyx mori.

Davies GJ, Knight DP, Vollrath F - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Here we report the detection and localisation of chitin in the cuticle of the spinning ducts of both the spider Nephila edulis and the silkworm Bombyx mori.Our observations demonstrate that the duct walls of both animals contain chitin notwithstanding totally independent evolutionary pathways of the systems.We conclude that chitin may well be an essential component for the construction of spinning ducts; we further conclude that in both species chitin may indicate the evolutionary origin of the spinning ducts.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Zoology, The University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Here we report the detection and localisation of chitin in the cuticle of the spinning ducts of both the spider Nephila edulis and the silkworm Bombyx mori. Our observations demonstrate that the duct walls of both animals contain chitin notwithstanding totally independent evolutionary pathways of the systems. We conclude that chitin may well be an essential component for the construction of spinning ducts; we further conclude that in both species chitin may indicate the evolutionary origin of the spinning ducts.

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Spectroscopic data with normalised absorbance.(A) Spider proximal and distal ducts, (B) spider duct average, spigot, cuticle and midgut, (C) silkworm duct, spigot, head plate and untreated ducts, (D) spider, silkworm and commercial chitin showing great similarity between results of chitin containing parts of both animals.
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pone-0073225-g004: Spectroscopic data with normalised absorbance.(A) Spider proximal and distal ducts, (B) spider duct average, spigot, cuticle and midgut, (C) silkworm duct, spigot, head plate and untreated ducts, (D) spider, silkworm and commercial chitin showing great similarity between results of chitin containing parts of both animals.

Mentions: The averaged FTIR spectra of the proximal and distal sections of the spider duct shown were similar to each other in shape and scale, with high intensity peaks at 3292 cm−1 indicative of the OH bond stretch [28], 3080 and 2926 cm−1 indicative of CH symmetric stretching [29], followed by distinctive peaks at 1648 and 1536 cm−1 of amide I and amide II [30] (denoted on Figure 4 (A)). A comparison of these peaks to the spectra of chitin is given below. There was little difference between the spectra of the two duct sections, with only a slight decrease in intensity for the distal duct for peaks at wavenumbers below 3080 cm−1. The quantitative similarity algorithm in the software calculated a very strong similarity of 94.2% between the two sections of the duct.


Chitin in the silk gland ducts of the spider Nephila edulis and the silkworm Bombyx mori.

Davies GJ, Knight DP, Vollrath F - PLoS ONE (2013)

Spectroscopic data with normalised absorbance.(A) Spider proximal and distal ducts, (B) spider duct average, spigot, cuticle and midgut, (C) silkworm duct, spigot, head plate and untreated ducts, (D) spider, silkworm and commercial chitin showing great similarity between results of chitin containing parts of both animals.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3756001&req=5

pone-0073225-g004: Spectroscopic data with normalised absorbance.(A) Spider proximal and distal ducts, (B) spider duct average, spigot, cuticle and midgut, (C) silkworm duct, spigot, head plate and untreated ducts, (D) spider, silkworm and commercial chitin showing great similarity between results of chitin containing parts of both animals.
Mentions: The averaged FTIR spectra of the proximal and distal sections of the spider duct shown were similar to each other in shape and scale, with high intensity peaks at 3292 cm−1 indicative of the OH bond stretch [28], 3080 and 2926 cm−1 indicative of CH symmetric stretching [29], followed by distinctive peaks at 1648 and 1536 cm−1 of amide I and amide II [30] (denoted on Figure 4 (A)). A comparison of these peaks to the spectra of chitin is given below. There was little difference between the spectra of the two duct sections, with only a slight decrease in intensity for the distal duct for peaks at wavenumbers below 3080 cm−1. The quantitative similarity algorithm in the software calculated a very strong similarity of 94.2% between the two sections of the duct.

Bottom Line: Here we report the detection and localisation of chitin in the cuticle of the spinning ducts of both the spider Nephila edulis and the silkworm Bombyx mori.Our observations demonstrate that the duct walls of both animals contain chitin notwithstanding totally independent evolutionary pathways of the systems.We conclude that chitin may well be an essential component for the construction of spinning ducts; we further conclude that in both species chitin may indicate the evolutionary origin of the spinning ducts.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Zoology, The University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Here we report the detection and localisation of chitin in the cuticle of the spinning ducts of both the spider Nephila edulis and the silkworm Bombyx mori. Our observations demonstrate that the duct walls of both animals contain chitin notwithstanding totally independent evolutionary pathways of the systems. We conclude that chitin may well be an essential component for the construction of spinning ducts; we further conclude that in both species chitin may indicate the evolutionary origin of the spinning ducts.

Show MeSH