Histological and Expression Differences Among Different Mantle Regions of the Yesso Scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis) Provide Insights into the Molecular Mechanisms of Biomineralization and Pigmentation

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The molecular mechanisms of shell formation and pigmentation are issues of great interest in molluscan studies due to the unique physical and biological properties of shells. The Yesso scallop, Patinopecten yessoensis, is one of the most important maricultural bivalves in Asian countries, and its shell color shows polymorphism. To gain more information about the underlying mechanisms of shell formation and pigmentation, this study presents the first analyses of histological and transcriptional differences between different mantle regions of the Yesso scallop, which are thought to be responsible for the formation of different shell layers. The results showed major microstructural differences between the edge and central mantles, which were closely associated with their functions. Different biomineralization-related GO functions, which might participate in the formation of different shell layers, were significantly enriched in the different mantle regions, indicating the different molecular functions of the two mantle regions in shell formation. The melanogenesis pathway, which controls melanin biosynthesis, was the most significantly enriched pathway in the DEGs between the two mantle regions, indicating its important role in shell pigmentation. Tyr, the key and rate-limiting gene in melanogenesis, was expressed at a remarkably high level in the central mantle, while the upstream regulatory genes included in melanogenesis were mainly upregulated in the edge mantle, suggesting the different molecular functions of the two mantle regions in shell pigmentation.

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We thank Dalian Zhangzidao Fishery Group Co., Ltd. (Dalian, China) for providing the scallop materials.

Funding Information

This project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31702342), the Major Science and Technology Research Project of Liaoning Province (2017203003), and the Doctoral Startup Foundation of Liaoning Province (20170520095).

Author information

Conceived and designed the experiments: JM and YC. Prepared the samples: XW, JS, and DY. Performed the experiments: JM, WZ, and YT. Analyzed the data: JM, WZ, ZH, and BH. Wrote the paper: JM and YC.

Correspondence to Yaqing Chang.

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Mao, J., Zhang, W., Wang, X. et al. Histological and Expression Differences Among Different Mantle Regions of the Yesso Scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis) Provide Insights into the Molecular Mechanisms of Biomineralization and Pigmentation. Mar Biotechnol 21, 683–696 (2019).

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  • Yesso scallop
  • Mantle tissue
  • Shell formation
  • Pigmentation
  • Melanogenesis