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The Coiled Coil Silk of Bees, Ants, and Hornets

Sutherland, Tara; Weisman, Sarah; Walker, Andrew; Mudie, Stephen T.


In this article, we review current knowledge about the silk produced by the larvae of bees, ants, and hornets [Apoidea and Vespoidea: Hymenoptera]. Different species use the silk either alone or in composites for a variety of purposes including mechanical reinforcement, thermal regulation, or humidification. The characteristic molecular structure of this silk is α-helical proteins assembled into tetrameric coiled coils. Gene sequences from seven species are available, and each species possesses...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2012
Type: Journal article
Source: Biopolymers
DOI: 10.1002/bip.21702


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