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Article

Ovarian Transcriptomic Analyses in the Urban Human Health Pest, the Western Black Widow Spider

1
Center for Life Sciences Education, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284, USA
2
Department of Biology, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6, Canada
3
Department of Biology, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA 24450, USA
4
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA 01854, USA
5
Department of Biology, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2020, 11(1), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11010087
Received: 6 November 2019 / Revised: 6 December 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2020 / Published: 12 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod Genetics and Genomics)
Due to their abundance and ability to invade diverse environments, many arthropods have become pests of economic and health concern, especially in urban areas. Transcriptomic analyses of arthropod ovaries have provided insight into life history variation and fecundity, yet there are few studies in spiders despite their diversity within arthropods. Here, we generated a de novo ovarian transcriptome from 10 individuals of the western black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus), a human health pest of high abundance in urban areas, to conduct comparative ovarian transcriptomic analyses. Biological processes enriched for metabolism—specifically purine, and thiamine metabolic pathways linked to oocyte development—were significantly abundant in L. hesperus. Functional and pathway annotations revealed overlap among diverse arachnid ovarian transcriptomes for highly-conserved genes and those linked to fecundity, such as oocyte maturation in vitellogenin and vitelline membrane outer layer proteins, hormones, and hormone receptors required for ovary development, and regulation of fertility-related genes. Comparative studies across arachnids are greatly needed to understand the evolutionary similarities of the spider ovary, and here, the identification of ovarian proteins in L. hesperus provides potential for understanding how increased fecundity is linked to the success of this urban pest. View Full-Text
Keywords: ovary; fecundity; black widow spider; transcriptome; gene expression ovary; fecundity; black widow spider; transcriptome; gene expression
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MDPI and ACS Style

Miles, L.S.; Ayoub, N.A.; Garb, J.E.; Haney, R.A.; Verrelli, B.C. Ovarian Transcriptomic Analyses in the Urban Human Health Pest, the Western Black Widow Spider. Genes 2020, 11, 87. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11010087

AMA Style

Miles LS, Ayoub NA, Garb JE, Haney RA, Verrelli BC. Ovarian Transcriptomic Analyses in the Urban Human Health Pest, the Western Black Widow Spider. Genes. 2020; 11(1):87. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11010087

Chicago/Turabian Style

Miles, Lindsay S., Nadia A. Ayoub, Jessica E. Garb, Robert A. Haney, and Brian C. Verrelli 2020. "Ovarian Transcriptomic Analyses in the Urban Human Health Pest, the Western Black Widow Spider" Genes 11, no. 1: 87. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11010087

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