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3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97202, USA

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This event has been canceled due to unforseen circumstances.

How the brown recluse got its bite: the origin story of a toxin

Dr. Binford's research program uses integrative, evolutionary approaches to better understand patterns of diversity in spider venoms.

Brown recluses and their relatives (genus Loxosceles) are famous for venoms that can cause nasty lesions when they bite people. The toxins that cause these lesions are phospholipase Ds that are unique to the Sicariidae spider family that includes Loxosceles and their near relatives – the super cool six-eyed sand spiders. Dr. Binford will describe her work uncovering the biogeographic history of sicariids, and share what’s been learned about the evolutionary origin and diversification of these PLD toxins. The story includes evidence of lateral gene transfer, functional diversification of a poorly understood gene family, and expansion of the complexity of the venom proteome. The result is venoms that are dominated by potent insecticidal PLD neurotoxins.

3:50pm Snacks & Socializing
4:10pm Talk Begins

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