Marine Biology

, Volume 153, Issue 4, pp 745–754 | Cite as

Investigation of cell proliferation and differentiation in the mantle of Pinctada fucata (Bivalve, Mollusca)

  • Zi Fang
  • Qiaoli Feng
  • Yizhou Chi
  • Liping Xie
  • Rongqing ZhangEmail author
Research Article


The mantle of the pearl oyster Pinctada fucata was adopted for the proliferation profile study in our work and a proliferation hot spot was found in the outer epithelia of mantle central zone using the BrdU immunohistochemistry method. This result contradicts the previous research that the mantle has numerous growth centers all over the mantle epithelium, with the same proliferation activity throughout the whole mantle outer epithelial cells. This is the first report on the different proliferation features on the whole mantle where Alcian Blue/PAS staining analysis and ultrastructural observation with the aid of transmission electron microscope (TEM) demonstrated distinct features of the epithelium in four different regions of the mantle. Results from the present investigation displayed that in the outer epithelium of the marginal zone in mantle outer fold, organelles such as mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) were well-developed and double membrane bounded vesicles were present; in the outer epithelia of mantle central zone, stem-like cells with a high ratio of nucleus to cytoplasm and comparatively undeveloped organelles were detected. Together with the observations of the cell proliferation profile of different regions of the mantle, a hypothetic model for the proliferation and differentiation of the pearl oyster’s mantle is proposed: there exists a proliferation “hot spot” in the outer epithelial cells of central zone and the proliferation ability decreases progressively from this “hot spot” towards the marginal zone; the whole mantle’s differentiation occurs continuously with its growth and the direction is from the proliferation ‘hot spot’ (central zone) towards the marginal zone. Furthermore, another interesting result was found when the proliferation rate was investigated together with the tidal rhythm: the proliferation activity was found to be closely correlated with the tidal rhythm, indicating that the mantle outer epithelia’s proliferation rhythm might be the impetus of the shell’s daily growth bands.


Central Zone Marginal Zone Digestive Gland Hemocyte Shell Formation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was financially supported by the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (2006AA09Z413, 2006AA09Z441, 2006AA10A415), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 30530600).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zi Fang
    • 1
  • Qiaoli Feng
    • 1
  • Yizhou Chi
    • 1
  • Liping Xie
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rongqing Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Marine Biotechnology, Department of Biological Sciences and BiotechnologyTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Protein Science Laboratory of the Ministry of EducationTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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