Bivalve Genomics

The Class Bivalvia is a highly successful and ancient taxon including 20,000+ known species. Bivalves are an interesting group for evolutionary and biodiversity studies: they represent a good model for studying adaptation to anoxia/hypoxia, salinity, and temperature, and are useful bioindicators for monitoring the concentration of pollutants and heavy metals in the water. They also make up an important source of food all over the world, with a production corresponding to ~20% of the global aquaculture yield; clams are first in production, followed by oysters, mussels, and scallops. One of the most striking features of bivalves is the presence of an unusual mitochondrial inheritance system: the Doubly Uniparental Inheritance (DUI) that provides a unique and privileged point of view for studying several fundamental aspects of eukaryote biology.

All these interesting biological features are in sharp contrast with the lack of genomic resources about bivalve molluscs. The main focus of this research line is to produce genomic and transcriptomic data that are analyzed in a comparative framework to study bivalve genomes under an evolutionary perspective. We are involved in the involved in the Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance (GIGA).