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Genome Duplication of Spiders and Scorpions will Surprise You

Scientists from U.K., Europe, Japan and the United States collaborated with the researchers at the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine. The collaboration happened in order to discover whole genome duplication during the evolution of spiders and scorpions. The study appeared in BMC Biology.

To study both applied reasons such as venom components for pharmaceuticals and silks for materials science, researchers have been studying since long. They were also dealing with basic questions such as the reasons for the evolution and to know the development and ecological success of this large group of carnivorous species. The study was a part of pilot project for the i5K. It was a project to study the genomes of 5,000 arthropod species. The Human Genome Sequencing Center analyzed the genome of house spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum. It is model specie to be studied in laboratories. The scorpion is from Arizona bark scientifically named as Centruroides sculpturatus which is the most poisonous scorpion in North America.

The analysis of study showed that genomes of spiders and scorpions evolved from a shared ancestor more than 400 million years ago. The new copies of genes were made through a process called whole genome duplication.

By: Bhavna Sharma


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