The evolution of mollusc shells
Embargoed until: 2019-05-01
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Molluscan shells are externally fabricated by specialized epithelial cells on the dorsal mantle. Although a conserved set of regulatory genes appears to underlie specification of mantle progenitor cells, the genes that contribute to the formation of the mature shell are incredibly diverse. Recent comparative analyses of mantle transcriptomes and shell proteomes of gastropods and bivalves are consistent with shell diversity being underpinned by a rapidly evolving mantle secretome (suite of genes expressed in the mantle that encode secreted proteins) that is the product of (a) high rates of gene co‐option into and loss from the mantle gene regulatory network, and (b) the rapid evolution of coding sequences, particular those encoding repetitive low complexity domains. Outside a few conserved genes, such as carbonic anhydrase, a so‐called “biomineralization toolkit” has yet to be discovered. Despite this, a common suite of protein domains, which are often associated with the extracellular matrix and immunity, appear to have been independently and often uniquely co‐opted into the mantle secretomes of different species. The evolvability of the mantle secretome provides a molecular explanation for the evolution and diversity of molluscan shells. These genomic processes are likely to underlie the evolution of other animal biominerals, including coral and echinoderm skeletons.
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Developmental Biology
© 2018Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: The evolution of mollusc shells, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Developmental Biology, Volume 7, Issue 3, e313, 2018, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/wdev.313. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-828039.html)
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Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified