Bivalve omics: state of the art and potential applications for the biomonitoring of harmful marine compounds

Mar Drugs. 2013 Nov 1;11(11):4370-89. doi: 10.3390/md11114370.


The extraordinary progress experienced by sequencing technologies and bioinformatics has made the development of omic studies virtually ubiquitous in all fields of life sciences nowadays. However, scientific attention has been quite unevenly distributed throughout the different branches of the tree of life, leaving molluscs, one of the most diverse animal groups, relatively unexplored and without representation within the narrow collection of well established model organisms. Within this Phylum, bivalve molluscs play a fundamental role in the functioning of the marine ecosystem, constitute very valuable commercial resources in aquaculture, and have been widely used as sentinel organisms in the biomonitoring of marine pollution. Yet, it has only been very recently that this complex group of organisms became a preferential subject for omic studies, posing new challenges for their integrative characterization. The present contribution aims to give a detailed insight into the state of the art of the omic studies and functional information analysis of bivalve molluscs, providing a timely perspective on the available data resources and on the current and prospective applications for the biomonitoring of harmful marine compounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bivalvia / genetics*
  • Bivalvia / metabolism*
  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Humans