A study published today in the open access journal BMC Biology reveals that the shape and colour patterns on the shell of the mollusc mirror the localised expression of specific genes in the mantle, a layer of skin situated just below the shell. The authors of the study identify one gene in particular that controls the formation of blue dots on the shell of the mollusc.
Daniel Jackson, Bernard Degnan and colleagues from the University of Queensland, Australia, collaborated with colleagues from the Department of Geobiology at the University of Göttingen, Germany to analyse gene expression in the tropical abalone Haliotis asinina. They sequenced 530 randomly-selected genes expressed in the mantle tissue of the young abalone.
Jackson et al. identified 331 genes that encode proteins expressed in the mantle. Using a bioinformatics approach they find that 26% (85) of these genes encode secreted proteins. Jackson et al. then analysed the expression patterns of 22 of the genes encoding secreted proteins. They find that each gene is expressed in a specific, discrete area of the mantle, involved in the formation of a specific layer, shape or colouration pattern of the shell. They identify one gene in particular, Has-sometsuke, whose expression pattern maps precisely to pigmentation patterns in the shell. Blue dots on the shell of the abalone correspond to zones of high Has-sometsuke expression. By comparing the abalone DNA sequences with the genome of another related mollusc, Lottia scutum, the authors also show that genes encoding the secreted mantle proteins, which they call the ‘secretome’, in abalone, are likely to be rapidly evolving genes.
Jackson et al. conclude: “The unexpected complexity and evolvability of this secretome and the modular design of the molluscan mantle enables the diversification of shell strength and design, and as such must contribute to the variety of adaptive architectures and colours found in mollusc shells.”
Juliette Savin | alfa
Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences