Supplementary tables, methods & figures from Characterization of the main steps in first shell formation in Mytilus galloprovincialis: possible role of tyrosinase

Bivalve biomineralization is a highly complex and organized process, involving several molecular components identified in adults and larval stages. However, information is still scarce on the ontogeny of the organic matrix before calcification occurs. In this work, first shell formation was investigated in the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. The time course of organic matrix and CaCO3 deposition were followed at close times post fertilization (24, 26, 29, 32, 48 h) by calcofluor and calcein staining, respectively. Both components showed an exponential trend in growth, with a delay between organic matrix and CaCO3 deposition. mRNA levels of genes involved in matrix deposition (chitin synthase; tyrosinase-, TYR) and calcification (carbonic anhydrase; extrapallial protein) were quantified by qPCR at 24 and 48 hours post fertilization (hpf) with respect to eggs. All transcripts were upregulated across early development, with TYR showing highest mRNA levels from 24 hpf. TYR transcripts were closely associated with matrix deposition as shown by in situ hybridization. The involvement of tyrosinase activity was supported by data obtained with the enzyme inhibitor N-phenylthiourea. Our results underline the pivotal role of shell matrix in driving first CaCO3 deposition and the importance of tyrosinase in the formation of the first shell in M. galloprovincialis.