Background: Bivalves comprise 30,000 extant species, constituting the second largest group of mollusks. However, limited genetic research has focused on this group of animals so far, which is, in part, due to the lack of genomic resources. The advent of high-throughput sequencing technologies enables generation of genomic resources in a short time and at a minimal cost, and therefore provides a turning point for bivalve research. In the present study, we performed de novo transcriptome sequencing to first produce a comprehensive expressed sequence tag (EST) dataset for the Yesso scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis).
Results: In a single 454 sequencing run, 805,330 reads were produced and then assembled into 32,590 contigs, with about six-fold sequencing coverage. A total of 25,237 unique protein-coding genes were identified from a variety of developmental stages and adult tissues based on sequence similarities with known proteins. As determined by GO annotation and KEGG pathway mapping, functional annotation of the unigenes recovered diverse biological functions and processes. Transcripts putatively involved in growth, reproduction and stress/immune-response were identified. More than 49,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 2,700 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were also detected.
Conclusion: Our data provide the most comprehensive transcriptomic resource currently available for P. yessoensis. Candidate genes potentially involved in growth, reproduction, and stress/immunity-response were identified, and are worthy of further investigation. A large number of SNPs and SSRs were also identified and ready for marker development. This resource should lay an important foundation for future genetic or genomic studies on this species.