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Structure analysis of the spinneret from Bombyx mori and its influence on silk qualities

Guo, Nangkuo, Lu, Kunpeng, Cheng, Lan, Li, Zhi, Wu, Chunman, Liu, Zulan, Liang, Shubo, Chen, Sihao, Chen, Wenhao, Jiang, Chenlong, Dai, Fangyin
International journal of biological macromolecules 2019 v.126 pp. 1282-1287
Bombyx mori, fibroins, fineness, larvae, muscles, silk, spinning
Silk is an excellent natural fiber, which has been widely used in versatile fields. Silk spinning is a complex process involving the larval spinneret. The spinneret is essential for silk spinning, but the sectional morphology of the spinneret that determines the silk monofilament, the muscular activities around the silk press as well as the relationships between the spinneret and the properties of the resulting silk remain poorly understood. We studied these factors by dissecting the spinneret and analyzing silk from different Bombyx mori strains. The sectional morphology of silk monofilament was found to be largely determined by the spinneret, especially by the silk press. Moreover, contractile activity of the muscles around the silk press is high, and the contraction frequency of the muscles was estimated to range from 11.42 to 50 HZ. A comparison of the fibroin filaments before they entered the common tube indicated that the spinneret determines both silk shape and silk size. This study provides insight into the silk spinning process, which may help develop bionic spinning in further studies and also provides a rationale to study the effect of the spinneret on silk fineness at the molecular level.