Western Black Widow Spider Genome Project

Image source Davefoc (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Western black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus)

Contact: Nadia Ayoub

Researchers involved: 600
Size (or size of nearest relative): 1262 MBp

Keywords (and why important): Novel chemistry, evolutionary branching, (Medicine, Systematics, Model Organism).

The three related widow species will facilitate gene annotation, regulatory sequence identification, and ortho/paralogy detection. This is a model organism for mating behavior, development, silk genetics, and venom research.

Genomic resources already available including a fosmid genomic library, 1009 traditional ESTs, and established methods for FISH.  Extensive expression data will be available from high-throughput sequencing of RNA from tissues wuch as individual silk and venom glands, cephalothorax, and ovaries. Tissue is stored at -80.

Dense populations readily available in southern California.  Three generation inbred lines could be produced in 1 year. Rearing operation already run by Chuck Christensen (SpiderPharm). High quality genomic DNA can be extracted quickly, as demonstrated by prior production of genomic library.

Genomic Resources

For the most current version of the assembly, please use 'NCBI BioProject' (find link below). If the assembly is unavailable in the BioProject page (it is still being worked on), you can look under the 'BCM-HGSC data' (find link below) for intermediate versions of the assembly.

Web Apollo: A web-based sequence annotation editor for community annotation

For information about Web Apollo, please contact Monica Poelchau.

Additional Resources

Learn more about the black widow spider