A new review just published in Insects by Manon Monier et Virginie Courtier:
Drosophila Glue: A Promising Model for Bioadhesion
The glue produced by Drosophila larvae to attach themselves to a substrate for several days and resist predation until the end of metamorphosis represents an attractive model to develop new adhesives for dry environments. The adhesive properties of this interesting material have been investigated recently, and it was found that it binds as well as strongly adhesive commercial tapes to various types of substrates. This glue hardens rapidly after excretion and is made of several proteins. In D. melanogaster, eight glue proteins have been identified: four are long glycosylated mucoproteins containing repeats rich in prolines, serines and threonines, and four others are shorter proteins rich in cysteines. This protein mix is produced by the salivary glands through a complex packaging process that is starting to be elucidated. Drosophila species have adapted to stick to various substrates in diverse environmental conditions and glue genes appear to evolve rapidly in terms of gene number, number of repeats and sequence of the repeat motifs. Interestingly, besides its adhesive properties, the glue may also have antimicrobial activities. We discuss future perspectives and avenues of research for the development of new bioadhesives mimicking Drosophila fly glue.
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