Insect silk: One name, many materials

Sutherland, Tara D., Young, James H., Weisman, Sarah, Hayashi, Cheryl Y. and Merritt, David J. (2010) Insect silk: One name, many materials. Annual Review of Entomology, 55 171-188. doi:10.1146/annurev-ento-112408-085401

Author Sutherland, Tara D.
Young, James H.
Weisman, Sarah
Hayashi, Cheryl Y.
Merritt, David J.
Title Insect silk: One name, many materials
Journal name Annual Review of Entomology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0066-4170
ISBN 978-0-8243-0155-2
Publication date 2010-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1146/annurev-ento-112408-085401
Volume 55
Start page 171
End page 188
Total pages 18
Editor May R. Berenbaum
Place of publication Palo Alto, CA., U.S.A.
Publisher Annual Reviews
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject C1
9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
060808 Invertebrate Biology
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Formatted abstract
Silks play a crucial role in the survival and reproduction of many insects. Labial glands, Malpighian tubules, and a variety of dermal glands have evolved to produce these silks. The glands synthesize silk proteins, which become semicrystalline when formed into fibers. Although each silk contains one dominant crystalline structure, the range of molecular structures that can form silk fibers is greater than any other structural protein group. On the basis of silk gland type, silk protein molecular structure, and the phylogenetic relationship of silk-producing species, we grouped insect silks into 23 distinct categories, each likely to represent an independent evolutionary event. Despite having diverse functions and fundamentally different protein structures, these silks typically have high levels of protein crystallinity and similar amino acid compositions. The substantial crystalline content confers extraordinary mechanical properties and stability to silk and appears to be required for production of fine protein fibers.
© 2010 by Annual Reviews All rights reserved.
Keyword Convergent evolution
Labial glands
Dermal glands
Coiled coil
Malpighian tubules
Protein fiber
Chrysopa egg-stalks
Arthropod silks
Fine structure
Larval silk
Spider silk
Cat flea
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes First published online as a Review in Advance on September 3, 2009

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 90 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 100 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 07 Feb 2010, 00:09:29 EST