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Spanish scientists explore Galician mussel genome


October 13, 2016
By Quentin Dodd

Scientists at the National Superior Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), which is based at Vigo in Galicia, in collaboration with their colleagues at the University of Vigo (UVigo) have jointly obtained the first version of the genome of the Galician mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis). It’s an achievement that will allow both organizations to study the genes of this bivalve mollusc and, in time, achieve complete sequencing and annotation for use by the aquaculture industry.

 According to CSIC in Vigo, these findings have been published in the scientific journal PloS.One. The paper describes more than five years of collaborative work between the phylogenomics group at the University of Vigo, which concentrated on analysing the genes related to immunity, and the Marine Research Institute of the CSIC in Vigo, which addressed the identification and annotation of the sequences generated by the project.

 Lead researchers in the study included Dr Antonio Figueras, from CSIC, and Dr Carlos Canchaya, Associate Professor at UVigo. The scientific paper notes that, the Galician mussel has “a very complex genome, with a high content of repeated sequences and a large number of polymorphisms,” when compared with the genomes of other molluscs, The teams were able to identify more genes with adaptive functions – such as maintenance of detoxification and ciliary structures.

 They maintain that they can deepen the present understanding of the genome through further study of what they term the “draft genome,” and are now in a position to get a better picture of the “characterization” of many important genes such as those related to the mussel’s immune response.

– Quentin Dodd


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