Whaite, Alessandra, et al. “The byssal-producing glands and proteins of the silverlip pearl oyster Pinctada maxima (Jameson, 1901).” Biofouling 38.2 (2022): 186-206. https://doi.org/10.1080/08927014.2022.2049256
Pinctada maxima are most well known for their production of high-quality natural pearls. They also generate another natural material, the byssus, an adhesive thread critical for steadfast attachment underwater. Herein, P. maxima byssal threads were analysed via proteotranscriptomics to reveal 49 proteins. Further characterisation was undertaken on five highly expressed genes: glycine-rich thread protein (GRT; also known as PUF3), apfp1/perlucin-like protein (Pmfp1); peroxidase; thrombospondin 1, and Balbiani ring 3 (BR3), which showed localised tissue expression. The spatial distribution of GRT and Pmfp1 via immunodetection combined with histology helped to identify glandular regions of the foot that contribute to byssal thread production: the byssal gland, the duct gland, and two thread-forming glands of basophilic and acidophilic serous-like cells. This work advanced primary knowledge on the glands involved in the creation of byssal threads and the protein composition of the byssus for P. maxima, providing a platform for the design of marine biopolymers.