Title

New Pheromone Bioassay and Spider Trap Testing

Presenter Information

Zachary Foulks

Department

Chemistry

Major

Chemistry and Biological Sciences

Research Advisor

Shi, Honglan

Advisor's Department

Chemistry

Funding Source

Ozark Biomedical Initiative (OBI), OURE

Abstract

Brown recluse spider (BRS) bites can lead to deep wounds persisting for months, blood loss that can be severe enough to need treatment in intensive care units, and can be life-threatening for children. Our research team has been investigating the sexual pheromones of BRS in order to develop enhanced spider traps capable of more effectively targeting BRS. We have applied ultra-sensitive solid-phase microextraction (SPME) sampling techniques to sample the headspace of BRS containers. These samples were then analyzed using GC-MS to identify the chemicals which were emitted by BRS. Dozens of BRS have been tested, including juveniles, adult males, adult females that do not attract males, and adult females that do attract males, to develop a thorough understanding of the chemicals and semiochemicals emitted by the various types of spiders. Several potential semiochemicals have been identified via this method. A new testing chamber was also developed to allow a more accurate biological assay in order to better observe the effects of these specific chemicals, as well as future potential semiochemicals, on the behavior of the spiders.

Biography

Zachary Foulks is a junior undergraduate at Missouri S&T majoring in both Chemistry and Biological Sciences. He has been involved in research with Dr. Honglan Shi's research group for 2 years, and he plans to pursue an MD/PhD degree once he graduates.

Research Category

Sciences

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Award

Sciences poster session, First place

Location

Upper Atrium

Presentation Date

16 Apr 2019, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

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Apr 16th, 9:00 AM Apr 16th, 3:00 PM

New Pheromone Bioassay and Spider Trap Testing

Upper Atrium

Brown recluse spider (BRS) bites can lead to deep wounds persisting for months, blood loss that can be severe enough to need treatment in intensive care units, and can be life-threatening for children. Our research team has been investigating the sexual pheromones of BRS in order to develop enhanced spider traps capable of more effectively targeting BRS. We have applied ultra-sensitive solid-phase microextraction (SPME) sampling techniques to sample the headspace of BRS containers. These samples were then analyzed using GC-MS to identify the chemicals which were emitted by BRS. Dozens of BRS have been tested, including juveniles, adult males, adult females that do not attract males, and adult females that do attract males, to develop a thorough understanding of the chemicals and semiochemicals emitted by the various types of spiders. Several potential semiochemicals have been identified via this method. A new testing chamber was also developed to allow a more accurate biological assay in order to better observe the effects of these specific chemicals, as well as future potential semiochemicals, on the behavior of the spiders.