Orb weavers are a family of spiders found all over the world. The Golden Orb Weaver is native to the Americas and is well known for its elaborate webs and is a non-venomous species. Females can get up to six inches in length and construct large, sturdy webs for their young.
Orb weavers are of particular interest to some genetic researchers due to their number of spidroin glands. Female orb weavers possess seven different silk-producing glands that construct different types of silk using a protein called spidroins. Spidroins have gained interest over the years as teachers are investigating their possible uses in medicine and other industries.
In 2017, a study was published in Nature that focused on analyzing the genomic sequence of the different silks produced by female golden orb weavers. Their aim was to create a genetic database of the spidroin protein in the variety of silks produced by female golden orb weavers. They found a variety of different genomic sequences involved in creating the different types of silk that enable female golden orb weavers to construct their large, elaborate webs for their young and to capture prey.