Since historical times, the inherent human fascination with pearls turned the freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera (Linnaeus, 1758) into a highly valuable cultural and economic resource. Although pearl harvesting in M. margaritifera is nowadays residual, other human threats have aggravated the species conservation status, especially in Europe. This mussel presents a myriad of rare biological features, e.g. high longevity coupled with low senescence and Doubly Uniparental Inheritance of mitochondrial DNA, for which the underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly known. Here, the first draft genome assembly of M. margaritifera was produced using a combination of Illumina Paired-end and Mate-pair approaches. The genome assembly was 2.4 Gb long, possessing 105,185 scaffolds and a scaffold N50 length of 288,726 bp. The ab initio gene prediction allowed the identification of 35,119 protein-coding genes. This genome represents an essential resource for studying this species' unique biological and evolutionary features and ultimately will help to develop new tools to promote its conservation.
Paphia textile is an important, aquaculture bivalve clam species distributed mainly in China, Philippines, and Malaysia. Recent studies of P. textile have focused mainly on artificial breeding and nutrition analysis, and the transcriptome and genome of P. textile have rarely been reported. In this work, the transcriptome of P. textile foot tissue was sequenced on an Illumina HiSeq™ 2000 platform. A total of 20,219,795 reads were generated, resulting in 4.08 Gb of raw data. The raw reads were cleaned and assembled into 54,852 unigenes with an N50 length of 829 bp. Of these unigenes, 38.92% were successfully annotated based on their matches to sequences in seven public databases. Among the annotated unigenes, 14,571 were assigned Gene Ontology terms, 5448 were classified to Clusters of Orthologous Groups categories, and 6738 were mapped to 228 pathways in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes database. For functional marker development, 5605 candidate simple sequence repeats were identified in the transcriptome and 80 primer pairs were selected randomly and amplified in a wild population of P. textile. A total of 36 loci that exhibited obvious repeat length polymorphisms were detected. The transcriptomic data and microsatellite markers will provide valuable resources for future functional gene analyses, genetic map construction, and quantitative trait loci mapping in P. textile.
The marine clam Lutraria rhynchaena is gaining popularity as an aquaculture species in Asia. Lutraria populations are present in the wild throughout Vietnam and several stocks have been established and translocated for breeding and aquaculture grow-out purposes. In this study, we demonstrate the feasibility of utilising Illumina next-generation sequencing technology to streamline the identification and genotyping of microsatellite loci from this clam species. Based on an initial partial genome scan, 48 microsatellite markers with similar melting temperatures were identified and characterised. The 12 most suitable polymorphic loci were then genotyped using 51 individuals from a population in Quang Ninh Province, North Vietnam. Genetic variation was low (mean number of alleles per locus = 2.6; mean expected heterozygosity = 0.41). Two loci showed significant deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) and the presence of null alleles, but there was no evidence of linkage disequilibrium among loci. Three additional populations were screened (n = 7-36) to test the geographic utility of the 12 loci, which revealed 100 % successful genotyping in two populations from central Vietnam (Nha Trang). However, a second population from north Vietnam (Co To) could not be successfully genotyped and morphological evidence and mitochondrial variation suggests that this population represents a cryptic species of Lutraria. Comparisons of the Qang Ninh and Nha Trang populations, excluding the 2 loci out of HWE, revealed statistically significant allelic variation at 4 loci. We reported the first microsatellite loci set for the marine clam Lutraria rhynchaena and demonstrated its potential in differentiating clam populations. Additionally, a cryptic species population of Lutraria rhynchaena was identified during initial loci development, underscoring the overlooked diversity of marine clam species in Vietnam and the need to genetically characterise population representatives prior to microsatellite development. The rapid identification and validation of microsatellite loci using next-generation sequencing technology warrant its integration into future microsatellite loci development for key aquaculture species in Vietnam and more generally, aquaculture countries in the South East Asia region.
The complete mitochondrial genome of the commercially important snout otter clam Lutraria rhynchaena was obtained from low-coverage shotgun sequencing data on the MiSeq platform. The L. rhynchaena mitogenome has 16,927 base pairs (69% A + T content) and made up of 12 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal subunit genes, 22 transfer RNAs, and a 953 bp non-coding AT-rich region. This is the first mitogenome to be sequenced from the genus Lutraria, and the seventh to be reported for the family Mactridae.
Two Unionida (freshwater mussel) families are present in the Northern Hemisphere; the Margaritiferidae, representing the most threatened of unionid families, and the Unionidae, which include several genera of unresolved taxonomic placement. The recent reassignment of the poorly studied Lamprotula rochechouartii from the Unionidae to the Margaritiferidae motivated a new search for other potential species of margaritiferids from members of Gibbosula and Lamprotula. Based on molecular and morphological analyses conducted on newly collected specimens from Vietnam, we here assign Gibbosula crassa to the Margaritiferidae. Additionally, we reanalyzed all diagnostic characteristics of the Margaritiferidae and examined museum specimens of Lamprotula and Gibbosula. As a result, two additional species are also moved to the Margaritiferidae, i.e. Gibbosula confragosa and Gibbosula polysticta. We performed a robust five marker phylogeny with all available margaritiferid species and discuss the taxonomy within the family. The present phylogeny reveals the division of Margaritiferidae into four ancient clades with distinct morphological, biogeographical and ecological characteristics that justify the division of the Margaritiferidae into two subfamilies (Gibbosulinae and Margaritiferinae) and four genera (Gibbosula, Cumberlandia, Margaritifera, and Pseudunio). The systematics of the Margaritiferidae family is re-defined as well as their distribution, potential origin and main biogeographic patterns.
The complete mitochondrial genome of the commercially and ecologically important and internationally vulnerable giant clam Tridacna squamosa was recovered by genome skimming using the MiSeq platform. The T. squamosa mitogenome has 20,930 base pairs (62.35% A+T content) and is made up of 12 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal subunit genes, 24 transfer RNAs, and a 2594 bp non-coding AT-rich region. The mitogenome has a relatively large insertion in the atp6 gene. This is the first mitogenome to be sequenced from the genus Tridacna, and the family Tridacnidae and represents a new gene order.
Freshwater mussels of the family Unionidae exhibit a particular form of mitochondria inheritance called double uniparental inheritance (DUI), in which the mitochondria are inherited by both male and female parents. The (M)ale and (F)emale mitogenomes are highly divergent within species. In the present study, we determine and describe the complete M and F mitogenomes of the Endangered freshwater mussel Potomida littoralis (Cuvier, 1798). The complete M and F mitogenomes sequences are 16 451 bp and 15 787 bp in length, respectively. Both F and M have the same gene content: 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA (trn) and 2 ribosomal RNA (rrn) genes. Bayesian analyses based on the concatenated nucleotide sequences of 12 PCGs and 2 rrn genes of both genomes, including mitogenome sequences available from related species, were performed. Male and Female lineages are monophyletic within the family, but reveal distinct phylogenetic relationships.
Freshwater mussels of the order Unionida are key elements of freshwater habitats and are responsible for important ecological functions and services. Unfortunately, these bivalves are among the most threatened freshwater taxa in the world. However, conservation planning and management are hindered by taxonomic problems and a lack of detailed ecological data. This highlights the urgent need for advances in the areas of systematics and evolutionary relationships within the Unionida. This study presents the most comprehensive phylogeny to date of the larger Unionida family, i.e., the Unionidae. The phylogeny is based on a combined dataset of 1032bp (COI+28S) of 70 species in 46 genera, with 7 of this genera being sequenced for the first time. The resulting phylogeny divided the Unionidae into 6 supported subfamilies and 18 tribes, three of which are here named for the first time (i.e., Chamberlainiini nomen novum, Cristariini nomen novum and Lanceolariini nomen novum). Molecular analyses were complemented by investigations of selected morphological, anatomical and behavioral characters used in traditional phylogenetic studies. No single morphological, anatomical or behavioral character was diagnostic at the subfamily level and few were useful at the tribe level. However, within subfamilies, many tribes can be recognized based on a subset of these characters. The geographical distribution of each of the subfamilies and tribes is also presented. The present study provides important advances in the systematics of these extraordinary taxa with implications for future ecological and conservation studies.