Biomineral proteins from Mytilus edulis mantle tissue transcriptome

Andy Freer, Stephen Bridgett, Jiahong Jiang, Maggie Cusack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


The common blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, has a bimineralic shell composed of approximately equal proportions of the two major polymorphs of calcium carbonate: calcite and aragonite. The exquisite biological control of polymorph production is the focus of research interest in terms of understanding the details of biomineralisation and the proteins involved in the process of complex shell formation. Recent advances in ease and availability of pyrosequencing and assembly have resulted in a sharp increase in transcriptome data for invertebrate biominerals. We have applied Roche 454 pyrosequencing technology to profile the transcriptome for the mantle tissue of the bivalve M. edulis. A comparison was made between the results of several assembly programs: Roche Newbler assembler versions 2.3, 2.5.2 and 2.6 and MIRA 3.2.1 and 3.4.0. The Newbler and MIRA assemblies were subsequently merged using the CAP3 assembler to give a higher consensus in alignments and a more accurate estimate of the true size of the M. edulis transcriptome. Comparison sequence searches show that the mantle transcripts for M. edulis encode putative proteins exhibiting sequence similarities with previously characterised shell proteins of other species of Mytilus, the Bivalvia Pinctada and haliotid gastropods. Importantly, this enhanced transcriptome has detected several transcripts that encode proteins with sequence similarity with previously described shell biomineral proteins including Shematrins and lysine-rich matrix proteins (KRMPs) not previously found in Mytilus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-45
Number of pages12
JournalMarine biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Animal Shells/chemistry
  • Animal Structures/metabolism
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mytilus edulis/genetics
  • Proteins/genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA
  • Software
  • Transcriptome/genetics

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