Scallops represent economically important aquaculture shellfish. The identification of genes and genetic variants related to scallop growth could benefit high-yielding scallop breeding. The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system is essential for growth and development, with IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs) serving as the major regulators of IGF actions. Although an effect of IGF on growth was detected in bivalve, IGFBP has not been reported, and members of the IGF system have not been characterized in scallop.
We cloned and characterized an IGFBP (PyIGFBP) gene from the aquaculture bivalve species, Yesso scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis, Jay, 1857). Its full-length cDNA sequence was 1,445 bp, with an open reading frame of 378 bp, encoding 125 amino acids, and its genomic sequence was 10,193 bp, consisting of three exons and two introns. The amino acid sequence exhibited the characteristics of IGFBPs, including multiple cysteine residues and relatively conserved motifs in the N-terminal and C-terminal domains. Expression analysis indicated that PyIGFBP was expressed in all the tissues and developmental stages examined, with a significantly higher level in the mantle than in other tissues and a significantly higher level in gastrulae and trochophore larvae than in other stages. Furthermore, three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in this gene. SNP c.1054A>G was significantly associated with both shell and soft body traits in two populations, with the highest trait values in GG type scallops and lowest in AG type ones.
We cloned and characterized an IGFBP gene in a bivalve, and this report also represents the first characterizing an IGF system gene in scallops. A SNP associated with scallop growth for both the shell and soft body was identified in this gene. In addition to providing a candidate marker for scallop breeding, our results also suggest the role of PyIGFBP in scallop growth.