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Cellular signaling initiated by various secreted, cysteine-rich Wnt proteins plays essential roles in regulating animal development and cell stemness. By virtue of its functional diversity and importance, the Wnt gene family has received substantial research interests in a variety of animal species, from invertebrates to vertebrates. However, for bivalve molluscs, one of the ancient bilaterian groups with high morphological diversity, systematic identification and analysis of the Wnt gene family remain lacking. To shed some light on the evolutionary dynamics of this gene family and obtain a more comprehensive understanding, we analyzed the characteristics of the Wnt gene family in three bivalve molluscs, with both genome and extensive transcriptomic resources. Investigation of genomic signatures, functional domains as well as phylogenetic relationships was conducted, and 12, 11, 12 subfamilies were identified in Yesso scallop, Zhikong scallop and Pacific oyster respectively. Spatiotemporal expression profiling suggested that, some bivalve Wnts might coordinate and participate in adult organ/tissue morphogenesis and homeostasis as well as early embryonic development. The transcriptional regulation of oyster Wnt genes showed dynamic and responsive patterns under different environmental stresses, indicating that Wnts may play a role in coping with challenging intertidal environments in bivalves. To our best knowledge, this study presents the first genome-wide study of Wnt gene family in bivalves, and our findings would assist in better understanding of Wnt function and evolution in bivalve molluscs.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part D, Genomics & proteomics
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The determination of the pattern of genes expressed at the level of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION, under specific circumstances or in a specific cell.
A basic-leucine zipper transcription factor that was originally described as a transcriptional regulator controlling expression of the BETA-GLOBIN gene. It may regulate the expression of a wide variety of genes that play a role in protecting cells from oxidative damage.
The expression of a gene in an abnormal place, or at an abnormal time in an organism. Ectopic Gene Expression is often induced artificially by genetic techniques.
A form of gene interaction whereby the expression of one gene interferes with or masks the expression of a different gene or genes. Genes whose expression interferes with or masks the effects of other genes are said to be epistatic to the effected genes. Genes whose expression is affected (blocked or masked) are hypostatic to the interfering genes.
The integration of exogenous DNA into the genome of an organism at sites where its expression can be suitably controlled. This integration occurs as a result of homologous recombination.
Bioinformatics is the application of computer software and hardware to the management of biological data to create useful information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information which can then be applied...