Metabolomic and transcriptomic profiling reveals the alteration of energy metabolism in oyster larvae during initial shell formation and under experimental ocean acidification

Marine bivalves secrete calcified shells to protect their soft bodies from predation and damages, which is of great importance for their survival, and for the safety of the coastal ecosystem. In recent years, larval shell formation of marine bivalves has been severely affected by ocean acidification (OA), and previous study indicated that OA might affect such process by disrupting endogenous energy metabolism. Developmental stages from trochophore to D-shape larvae are extremely important for initial shell formation in oyster since a calcified shell was formed to cover the chitin one. In the present study, metabolomic and transcriptomic approaches were employed to investigate the energy metabolism of oyster larvae during initial shell (prodissoconch I, PDI shell) formation and under experimental OA treatment. Totally 230 chemical compounds were identified from the present dataset, most of which were highly expressed in the “middle” stage (early D-shape larvae) which was critical for PDI shell formation since a calcified shell was formed to cover the chitin one. Several compounds such as glucose, glutarylcarnitine (C5), β-hydroxyisovaleroylcarnitine, 5-methylthioadenosine (MTA), myristoleate (14:1n5) and palmitoleate (16:1n7) were identified, which were involved in energy metabolic processes including amino acid oxidation, glycolysis, pentose phosphate pathway and fatty acid metabolism. In addition, mRNA expressions of genes related to protein metabolism, glycolysis, lipid degradation, calcium transport and organic matrix formation activities were significantly down-regulated upon experimental OA. These results collectively suggested that formation of the initial shell in oyster larvae required endogenous energy coming from amino acid oxidation, glycolysis, pentose phosphate pathway and fatty acid metabolism. These metabolic activities could be severely inhibited by experimental OA, which might alter the allocation of endogenous energy. Insufficient endogenous energy supply then suppressed the mobilization of calcium and resulted in a failure or delay in PDI shell formation.

Liu Z., Zhang Y., Zhou Z., Zong Y., Zheng Y., Liu C., Kong N., Gao Q., Wang L.& Song L., 2020. Metabolomic and transcriptomic profiling reveals the alteration of energy metabolism in oyster larvae during initial shell formation and under experimental ocean acidification. Scientific Reports 60: 6111. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-62963-3. Article.

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