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Chemical evidence of rare porphyrins in purple shells of Crassostrea gigas oyster

Authors
  • Bonnard, Michel1, 2
  • Cantel, Sonia1
  • Boury, Bruno3
  • Parrot, Isabelle1
  • 1 IBMM, Univ Montpellier, CNRS, ENSCM, Montpellier, France , Montpellier (France)
  • 2 TARBOURIECH-MEDITHAU, Marseillan, France , Marseillan (France)
  • 3 ICGM, Univ Montpellier, CNRS, ENSCM, Montpellier, France , Montpellier (France)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Scientific Reports
Publisher
Springer Nature
Publication Date
Jul 22, 2020
Volume
10
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-69133-5
Source
Springer Nature
License
Green

Abstract

The colour of oyster shells is a very diverse characteristic morphotype, forming intriguing vivid patterns both on the inside and outside of the shell. In the present study, we have identified for the first time, the presence of several porphyrins as constituents of the shell pigmentation of the Crassostrea gigas oyster consumed worldwide. The precise molecular structures of halochromic, fluorescent and acid-soluble porphyrins, such as uroporphyrin and turacin, are unambiguously determined by reverse phase liquid chromatography combined with high resolution mass spectrometry. Their presence account for the purple colouration of shells but also for the dark colouration of adductor muscle scars. We have also defined the endogenous origin of these porphyrins, specifically secreted or accumulated by the shell forming tissue. These findings are pioneering analytical proofs of the existence of the haem pathway in the edible oyster Crassostrea gigas, evidenced by the chemical identification of haem side-products and supported by the recent publication of the corresponding oyster genome.

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