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Genome sequencing and neurotoxin diversity of a wandering spider Pardosa pseudoannulata (pond wolf spider)

By Na Yu, Jingjing Li, Meng Liu, Lixin Huang, Haibo Bao, Zhiming Yang, Yixi Zhang, Haoli Gao, Zhaoying Wang, Yuanxue Yang, Thomas Van Leeuwen, Neil S. Millar, Zewen Liu

Posted 29 Aug 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/747147

Spiders constitute an extensive and diverse branch of the phylum Arthropoda. Whereas the genomes of four web-weaver spider species and a single cave-living spider have been determined, similar studies have not been reported previously for a wandering spider. The pond wolf spider, Pardosa pseudoannulata, is a wandering hunter that immobilizes prey using venom rather than a web. It is also an important predator against a range of agriculturally important insect pests. The increasing interest in its wandering lifestyle and in the potential of spider venom as a tool for pest control have prompted a detailed study on this wandering spider species. We have generated a high-quality genome sequence of P. pseudoannulata and analysed genes associated with the production of silk and venom toxins. Sequencing reveals that P. pseudoannulata has a large genome of 4.26 Gb. The presence of only 16 spidroin genes and four types of silk glands is consistent with the moderate use of silk and the lack of a prey-catching web. A large number of genes encode neurotoxins and there is evidence that the majority are highly selective for invertebrates. Comparison between spider species reveals a correlation between spider neurotoxin selectivity for target organisms and spider prosoma size, suggesting a possible coevolution of these two features. The genome data provides valuable insights into the biology of P. pseudoannulata and its potential role as a natural enemy in pest control.

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