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Spiderwebs and Silk: Tracing Evolution from Molecules to Genes to Phenotypes

By: Catherine L Craig

230 pages, B/w photos, figs, tabs

Oxford University Press USA

Hardback | Sep 2003 | #138861 | ISBN: 0195129164
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £20.49 $27/€23 approx

About this book

Links the molecular evolution of silk proteins to the evolution and behavioural ecology of web-spinning spiders and other arthropods, providing a unique insight into how molecular evolution can both enable and limit species diversity. Draws together studies from biochemistry through molecular genetics, cellular physiology, ecology, and behaviour to present an integrated understanding of an interesting biological system at the molecular and organizational levels.

[Craig] gives a fascinating and vivid account of evolution of spider silks ... The book is a well-written, informative spider silk monograph ... will stimulate further research efforts in artificial silk synthesis ... will serve as an important source of information on all aspects of spider silk proteins. Heredity Craigs 'Spider Webs and Silks' brings a fascinating and important subject to a potentially broad audience. And it might even turn some arachnophobes into arachnophiles. Nature


Preface; 1 Breaking down silk proteins and their evolutionary pathways; 2 The comparative architecture of silks, fibrous proteins and their encoding genes in insects and spiders; 3. The mechanical functions of silk and their correlated structural properties; 4. Insect spatial vision is potential selective factor on the evolution of silk achromatic properties and web architecture; 5. Insect color vision is a potential selective factor on the evolution of silk chromatic properties and web design; 6. Insect learning capacity is a potential selective factor in the evolution of silk color and the decorative silk patterns spun by spiders; 7. Inter-gland competition for amino acids and the ATP costs of silk synthesis; 8. One-dimensional developmental system and life-long silk synthesis may preclude the evolution of high eusociality in spiders; 9. Conclusions and looking forward; Bibliography; Index

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