The bagworm genome reveals a unique fibroin gene that provides high tensile strength

Nobuaki Kono, Hiroyuki Nakamura, Rintaro Ohtoshi, Masaru Tomita, Keiji Numata, Kazuharu Arakawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Arthropod silk is known as a versatile tool, and its variability makes it an attractive biomaterial. Eumeta variegata is a bagworm moth (Lepidoptera, Psychidae) that uses silk throughout all life stages. Notably, the bagworm-specific uses of silk include larval development in a bag coated with silk and plant materials and the use of silk attachments to hang pupae. An understanding at the molecular level of bagworm silk, which enables such unique purposes, is an opportunity to expand the possibilities for artificial biomaterial design. However, very little is known about the bagworm fibroin gene and the mechanical properties of bagworm silk. Here, we report the bagworm genome, including a silk fibroin gene. The genome is approximately 700 Mbp in size, and the newly found fibroin gene has a unique repetitive motif. Furthermore, a mechanical property test demonstrates a phylogenetic relationship between the unique motif and tensile strength of bagworm silk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number148
JournalCommunications biology
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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