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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2009 Jan;8(1):132-44. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M800237-MCP200. Epub 2008 Sep 15.

Genetic variation underlying protein expression in eggs of the marine mussel Mytilus edulis.

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  • 1Institute of Life Sciences, School of Medicine, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP, West Glamorgan, Wales, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Study of the genetic basis of gene expression variation is central to attempts to understand the causes of evolutionary change. Although there are many transcriptomics studies estimating genetic variance and heritability in model organisms such as humans there is a lack of equivalent proteomics studies. In the present study, the heritability underlying egg protein expression was estimated in the marine mussel Mytilus. We believe this to be the first such measurement of genetic variation for gene expression in eggs of any organism. The study of eggs is important in evolutionary theory and life history analysis because maternal effects might have profound effects on the rate of evolution of offspring traits. Evidence is presented that the egg proteome varies significantly between individual females and that heritability of protein expression in mussel eggs is moderate to high suggesting abundant genetic variation on which natural selection might act. The study of the mussel egg proteome is also important because of the unusual system of mitochondrial DNA inheritance in mussels whereby different mitochondrial genomes are transmitted independently through female and male lineages (doubly uniparental inheritance). It is likely that the mechanism underlying this system involves the interaction of specific egg factors with sperm mitochondria following fertilization, and its elucidation might be advanced by study of the proteome in females having different progeny sex ratios. Putative identifications are presented here for egg proteins using MS/MS in Mytilus lines differing in sex ratio. Ontology terms relating to stress response and protein folding occur more frequently for proteins showing large expression differences between the lines. The distribution of ontology terms in mussel eggs was compared with those for previous mussel proteomics studies (using other tissues) and with mammal eggs. Significant differences were observed between mussel eggs and mussel tissues but not between the two types of eggs.

PMID:
18794572
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2635125
Free PMC Article
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