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Temporal expression of sex-specific genes in the mantle of the common mussel (Mytilus edulis)
Sedik, W.F.; Dempsey, K.E.; Meng, X.; Craft, J.A. (2010). Temporal expression of sex-specific genes in the mantle of the common mussel (Mytilus edulis). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 157(3): 639-646.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Sedik, W.F.
  • Dempsey, K.E.
  • Meng, X.
  • Craft, J.A.

    A qPCR assay was developed to measure expression of male-specific vitelline coat lysin (VCL) and female-specific vitelline envelop receptor for lysin (VERL) in the mantle of Mytilus edulis, the common mussel. The ability of the method to correctly assign sex was validated by a combination of histology and a previously developed end-point RT–PCR for these transcripts (Hines et al. 2007). Mussels used were collected over a 21-month period, and sex could be assigned by qPCR in >90% of the animals including at times of the year when the animals were ‘spent’ or were rebuilding gonads. In the previous and this study, some individual animals appeared to produce both VCL and VERL transcripts when measured by the RT–PCR method, but the qPCR assay showed that in the majority of such animals, only one transcript was present at appreciable quantity. However, in a few animals (~3%), equal amounts of each were found but the significance of this observation requires further study. VCL and VERL transcripts were low in the initial samples of October 2006 but increased to a maximum at March 2007 before decreasing again rapidly to a minimum in June 2007 before increasing again in October 2007. In a second, shorter sequence of sampling another maxima was found in March 2008 and a minima by June 2008. Although both transcripts reached a peak at the same time, it seems that VCL appears, accumulates and disappears in a narrower time-window than does VERL. This may relate to the higher energy costs of building eggs than sperm.

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