, Volume 65, Issue 5, pp 737–747 | Cite as

Expression of biomineralisation genes in tissues and cultured cells of the abalone Haliotis tuberculata

  • Matthew O’Neill
  • Béatrice Gaume
  • Françoise Denis
  • Stéphanie Auzoux-BordenaveEmail author
Marine Invertebrate Cell Culture


Mollusc shell biomineralisation involves a variety of organic macromolecules (matrix proteins and enzymes) that control calcium carbonate (CaCO3) deposition, growth of crystals, the selection of polymorph, and the microstructure of the shell. Since the mantle and the hemocytes play an important role in the control of shell formation, primary cell cultures have been developed to study the expression of three biomineralisation genes recently identified in the abalone Haliotis tuberculata: a matrix protein, Lustrin A, and two carbonic anhydrase enzymes. Mantle cells and hemocytes were successfully maintained in primary cultures and were evaluated for their viability and proliferation over time using a semi-automated assay (XTT). PCR and densitometric analysis were used to semi-quantify the gene expression and compare the level of expression in native tissues and cultured cells. The results demonstrated that the three genes of interest were being expressed in abalone tissues, with expression highest in the mantle and much lower in the hemocytes and the gills. Biomineralisation genes were also expressed significantly in mantle cells, confirming that primary cultures of target tissues are suitable models for in vitro investigation of matrix protein secretion.


Biomineralisation Gene expression Primary culture Haliotis tuberculata 



We thank S. Huchette from the farm France-Haliotis (Plouguerneau, France) for providing abalones Haliotis tuberculata. This work was financed in part by the ATM programme ‘Biomineralisation’ of the MNHN funded by the Ministère délégué à l’Enseignement supérieur et à la Recherche. M. O’Neill was supported by an Erasmus fellowship from the European Community.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew O’Neill
    • 1
    • 2
  • Béatrice Gaume
    • 1
    • 5
  • Françoise Denis
    • 1
    • 3
  • Stéphanie Auzoux-Bordenave
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.UMR BOREA (Biologie des Organismes et Ecosystèmes Aquatiques) MNHN/CNRS-7208/IRD-207/UPMCMuséum national d’Histoire naturelleConcarneauFrance
  2. 2.Keele UniversityStaffordshireUK
  3. 3.Université du MaineLe MansFrance
  4. 4.Université Pierre et Marie CurieParisFrance
  5. 5.DYNECAR, EA 926Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, Campus de FouillolePointe à PitreFrance

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