Genome sequencing and neurotoxin diversity of a wandering spider Pardosa pseudoannulata (pond wolf spider)
Thomas Van Leeuwen,
Neil S. Millar,
Posted 29 Aug 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/747147
Posted 29 Aug 2019
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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