How to synthesize Spider Venom(s)?

Was reading an interesting article about using spider venoms as non-toxic pesticides. I want to test a natural pesticide/plant growth enhancer using a mixture of chitin/chitosan and spider venoms. Getting chitin is the easy part, but does anyone know how to synthesize spider venoms? Crudely attempting to "milk" spiders is not an option. Chitin/Chitosan has numerous biocontrol applications (tested by NASA) and I'm trying to develop safer pesticides so that agriculture doesn't need to use sketchy things like glyphosate or atrazine for example.


  • this is a heavy duty project that without PhD level knowledge and tech you probably won't be able to accomplish. But try to connect with @chironex he probably is too busy rn with his sider silk project but him, Josiah Zayner, and David Ishee are all pretty good at genetic engineering which is probs the best route (get a single-celled organism to make it then extract it)

  • There's a lot going unsaid as well. What spider? What specific component of its venom? And.. are you sure that this is less harmful then currently used pesticides? "Natural" doesn't necessarily mean better. Many of these venoms are neurotoxins. Sure, we only worry about them when administered via a bite.. but I'm not sure anyone has had a gallon of the stuff around. What would happen if you had a few ounces on the skin?

  • The venom is a extracted from the Blue Mountains Funnelweb Spider and the specific extract [Hexatoxin-HV1A] from it is proven to be nontoxic to humans and bees.

  • Interesting. Do you know if it get absorbed on contact by insects?

  • I'm honestly not sure, though everything I've read on it mentions ingestion or injection.

  • "don't need to use anything sketchy like glyphosphate" wants to use spider venom. LOL

    As to making it, looks super easy tbh. It's 37aa peptide which means it'd take ~110bp of DNA. That's honestly nothing. You can get that made by a primer synthesis company in a set of 2 pieces and have enough room left over to build gibson assembly sites into it for easy fitting into your plasmid of choice.

    However, as cassox pointed out, messing with large quantities of venom can really fuck you up. Sure it's not toxic in the ng-ug doses we're used to, but enough that you can spray it on something is asking for trouble since I doubt anyones tests those levels of it. Also, why doesn't it affect bees? How does it only kill "pests" but not bees. That's oddly specific which im skeptical of.

    For reference black widow venom is made of 6-7 different proteins. Only 2-3 of them affect insects, but they hit pretty widely and don't discriminate by species. 1 of them affects vertebrates and again, they aren't picky as to which kind of vertebrate unless the species in question has some sort of defense against it for whatever reason. But something that's important to note, is while genetic engineering is totally legal, making any sort of toxin that can affect humans is not and they'll hit you with the book for that shit. So while it's a neat concept, I think you'd be better off focusing on the BT toxins as those are faaaar more species specific. Still far from perfect, but much better than spider venoms usually. At one point we were looking at making bees that produce an anti-mite BT toxin so they could fend off mites. And Bt toxins are already used in GM plants regularly.

    I played with the idea of spider venom plants, then realized it'd fuck up any bees trying to be nice and pollinate the plants.

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