The gymnosome (unshelled) pteropod Clione limacina is a pelagic predatory mollusc found in polar and sub-polar regions. It has been studied for its distinctive swimming behavior and as an obligate predator on the closely related thecosome (shelled) pteropods. As concern about ocean acidification increases, it becomes useful to compare the physiological responses of closely-related calcifying and non-calcifying species to acidification. The goals of this study were thus to generate a reference transcriptome for Clione limacina, to expose individuals to CO2 for a period of 3 days, and to explore differential patterns of gene expression. Our Trinity assembly contained 300,994 transcripts of which ~ 26% could be annotated. In total, only 41 transcripts were differentially expressed following the CO2 treatment, consistent with a limited physiological response of this species to short-term CO2 exposure. The differentially expressed genes identified in our study were largely distinct from those identified in previous studies of thecosome pteropods, although some similar transcripts were identified, suggesting that comparison of these transcriptomes and responses may provide insight into differences in responses to ocean acidification among phylogenetically and functionally distinct molluscan lineages.
Thabet A. A., Maas A. E., Saber S. A. & Tarrant A. M., in press. Assembly of a reference transcriptome for the gymnosome pteropod Clione limacina and profiling responses to short-term CO2 exposure. Marine Genomics. Article (subscription required).