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Comp Biochem Physiol Part D Genomics Proteomics 2021 Sep 01;39:100827. doi: 10.1016/j.cbd.2021.100827.
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Metabolomic analysis of white, green and purple morphs of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus during body color pigmentation process.

Xing L , Sun L , Liu S , Zhang L , Sun J , Yang H .

The sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus is an important economic species owing to their high nutritive and medicinal value. Body color is one of the most important traits in the cultivation, which affects taste and market price of holothurian products. Pigmentation is an important stage of sea cucumber growth and development, in addition to achieving rare and beautiful coloration. In this study, UHPLC-QTOF/MS technique was performed to analyze the metabolome of white, green and purple A. japonicus body wall during the pigmentation process. A total of 2633 metabolites were identified. OPLS-DA clearly discriminated the body wall metabolites among the three color morphs. In addition, 13 annotated metabolites that could discriminate white, green and purple A. japonicus were screened out. KEGG metabolic pathway analysis revealed that "biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids" and "fatty acid biosynthesis" were closely related in the different color morphs. Furthermore, we performed comparative analysis of polysaccharide and saponin among white, green and purple A. japonicus. The results showed that the content of polysaccharide and saponin in purple A. japonicus was the highest, while that in white A. japonicus was the lowest. This study will provide valuable information for future studies on sea cucumber and the molecular mechanism underlying pigmentation and color polymorphism, and may contribute to support the culturing of desirable color morphs.

PubMed ID: 33894529
Article link: Comp Biochem Physiol Part D Genomics Proteomics