Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Snail shell coiling programmed by protein patterning

Date:
May 28, 2013
Source:
BioMed Central Limited
Summary:
Snail shells coil in response to a lopsided protein gradient across their shell mantles, finds new research. In contrast the shell mantle of limpets, whose shells do not coil, have a symmetrical pattern of the protein Decapentaplegic (Dpp).

Gastropod evolution.
Credit: Image courtesy of BioMed Central Limited

Snail shells coil in response to a lopsided protein gradient across their shell mantles, finds research in BioMed Central's open access journal EvoDevo. In contrast the shell mantle of limpets, whose shells do not coil, have a symmetrical pattern of the protein Decapentaplegic (Dpp).

Related Articles


There are many hundreds of different kinds of gastropods (slugs snail and limpets) -- second only in number of species to insects. They have adapted to live on land as well as in fresh water and marine environments, and have altered their physiology to survive in different habitats and to exploit different niches. The ancestral snail is thought to have had a coiled shell but during evolution some snails have lost their shells to become slugs, and some, limpets and false limpets, have independently lost the ability to coil their shells.

In order to find out why some gastropods have straight and some have coiled shells researchers from the University of Tokyo looked at the pattern of Dpp during shell growth. Dpp was first identified in fruit flies where it is necessary for the correct development of limbs, wings and other organs -- decapentaplegic describes the 15 things missing in the absence of the gene dpp. Dpp is also found in the shell gland of gastropods, an early structure which begins to form a developing shell. However its presence in the mantle, which takes over shell production as the animal develops, was unknown.

In all four animals tested, limpets Patella vulgata and Nipponacmea fuscoviridis, and the right-hand coiled pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis along with a sinistral coiled lab-developed snail, dpp expression matched shell shape. There was also a Dpp protein gradient spreading away from this which was also symmetrical in limpets but had left/right asymmetry for the pond snails, matching the handedness of shell coiling.

Keisuke Shimizu, who led this study, commented, "This molecular mechanism driving for shell coiling persists from early developmental stages though adult life as the shell is replaced. It also provides an explanation for how shell coiling has been lost several times during the evolution of gastropods by the relatively easy loss of asymmetric Dpp."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central Limited. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Keisuke Shimizu, Minoru Iijima, Davin HE Setiamarga, Isao Sarashina, Tetsuhiro Kudoh, Takahiro Asami, Edi Gittenberger, Kazuyoshi Endo. Left-right asymmetric expression of dpp in the mantle of gastropods correlates with asymmetric shell coiling. EvoDevo, 2013; 4 (1): 15 DOI: 10.1186/2041-9139-4-15

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central Limited. "Snail shell coiling programmed by protein patterning." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130527231800.htm>.
BioMed Central Limited. (2013, May 28). Snail shell coiling programmed by protein patterning. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130527231800.htm
BioMed Central Limited. "Snail shell coiling programmed by protein patterning." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130527231800.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) A frog noticed by a conservationist on New York's Staten Island has been confirmed as a new species after extensive study and genetic testing. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A 20-year-old competition surfer said on Thursday he accidentally stepped on a shark's head before it bit him off the Australian east coast. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The Ebola epidemic has seen Senegal and Guinea Bissau close its borders with Guinea and the economic consequences have started to be felt, especially in Fouta Djallon, where the renowned potato industry has been hit hard. Duration: 02:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 30, 2014) Just in time for Halloween, a glowing flower goes on display in Tokyo. Instead of sorcery and magic, its creators used science to genetically modify the flower, adding a naturally fluorescent plankton protein to its genetic mix. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins