Shell repair process in the green ormer Haliotis tuberculata: a histological and microstructural study

Tissue Cell. 2008 Jun;40(3):207-18. doi: 10.1016/j.tice.2007.12.002. Epub 2008 Feb 19.


In the present paper, juvenile and adult shells of the green ormer Haliotis tuberculata ('Oreille de Saint-Pierre') were perforated in a zone close to the shell edge and the shell repair process was followed at two levels: (1) by observing the histology of the calcifying mantle in the repair zone and (2) by analyzing with SEM the microstructure of the shell repair zone. Histological data clearly show the presence of calcium carbonate granules into the connective tissues, but not in the epithelial cells. This suggests that calcium carbonate granules are synthesized by sub-epithelial cells and actively transported through the epithelium to the repair zone, via a process which may be similar to that described by Mount et al. [Mount, A.S., Wheeler, A.P., Paradkar, R.P., Snider, D., 2004. Hemocyte-mediated shell mineralization in the eastern oyster. Science 304, 297-300]. Furthermore, SEM observations show that the repair zone exhibits different stratified microstructures (spherulitic, thin prismatic, blocklike, sub-nacreous, nacreous, foliated-like), some of which are not continuous (i.e. lenticular) along the repair zone. This suggests a complex secreting regime of the calcifying mantle and an elaborate geometry of the epithelium involved in shell repair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epithelium / ultrastructure*
  • Kinetics
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Pinctada / anatomy & histology*
  • Wound Healing*