Molecular Pathways and Pigments Underlying the Colors of the Pearl Oyster Pinctada margaritifera var. cumingii (Linnaeus 1758)

Type Article
Date 2021-03
Language English
Author(s) Stenger Pierre-LouisORCID1, 2, Ky Chin-LongORCID1, 2, Reisser CelineORCID1, 3, Duboisset Julien4, Dicko Hamadou4, Durand PatrickORCID5, Quintric Laure5, Planes Serge6, Vidal-Dupiol JeremieORCID1, 2
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, UMR 241 Écosystèmes Insulaires Océaniens, Labex Corail, Centre Ifremer du Pacifique, BP 49, 98725 Tahiti, France
2 : IHPE, Univ Montpellier, CNRS, IFREMER, Univ Perpignan Via Domitia, Montpellier, France
3 : MARBEC, Univ Montpellier, CNRS, IFREMER, IRD, Montpellier, France
4 : Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, Centrale Marseille, Institut Fresnel, Marseille, France
5 : Service de Bioinformatique, Département IRSI, IFREMER, ZI de la Pointe du Diable, 29280 Plouzané, France
6 : EPHE-UPVD-CNRS, USR 3278 CRIOBE, Labex Corail, PSL Research University, Université de Perpignan, Perpignan, France
Source Genes (2073-4425) (MDPI AG), 2021-03 , Vol. 12 , N. 3 , P. 421 (23p.)
DOI 10.3390/genes12030421
WOS© Times Cited 7
Note This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Research in Aquaculture
Keyword(s) Pinctada margaritifera, color, pigment, transcriptomics, Raman spectroscopy

The shell color of the Mollusca has attracted naturalists and collectors for hundreds of years, while the molecular pathways regulating pigment production and the pigments themselves remain poorly described. In this study, our aim was to identify the main pigments and their molecular pathways in the pearl oyster Pinctada margaritifera—the species displaying the broadest range of colors. Three inner shell colors were investigated—red, yellow, and green. To maximize phenotypic homogeneity, a controlled population approach combined with common garden conditioning was used. Comparative analysis of transcriptomes (RNA-seq) of P. margaritifera with different shell colors revealed the central role of the heme pathway, which is involved in the production of red (uroporphyrin and derivates), yellow (bilirubin), and green (biliverdin and cobalamin forms) pigments. In addition, the Raper–Mason, and purine metabolism pathways were shown to produce yellow pigments (pheomelanin and xanthine) and the black pigment eumelanin. The presence of these pigments in pigmented shell was validated by Raman spectroscopy. This method also highlighted that all the identified pathways and pigments are expressed ubiquitously and that the dominant color of the shell is due to the preferential expression of one pathway compared with another. These pathways could likely be extrapolated to many other organisms presenting broad chromatic variation

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Stenger Pierre-Louis, Ky Chin-Long, Reisser Celine, Duboisset Julien, Dicko Hamadou, Durand Patrick, Quintric Laure, Planes Serge, Vidal-Dupiol Jeremie (2021). Molecular Pathways and Pigments Underlying the Colors of the Pearl Oyster Pinctada margaritifera var. cumingii (Linnaeus 1758). Genes, 12(3), 421 (23p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :