De novo transcriptome assembly of the Qatari pearl oyster Pinctada imbricata radiata

Tim Bean, Zenaba Khatir, Brett P Lyons, Ronny van Aerle, Diana Minardi, John P. Bignall, David Smyth, Bruno Welter Giraldes , Alexandra Leitao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pearl oyster Pinctada imbricata radiata is an iconic species in Qatar, representing an integral part of the nation’s cultural heritage and one of the main economic foundations upon which the nation developed. During the early part of the 20th century, nearly half of Qatar population was involved in the pearl oyster industry. However, the fishery has undergone steady decline since the 1930s, and the species is now under threat due to multiple confounding pressures. This manuscript presents the first de novo transcriptome of the Qatari pearl oyster assembled into 30,739 non-redundant coding sequences and with a BUSCO completeness score of 98.4%. Analysis of the transcriptome reveals the close evolutionary distance to the conspecific animal Pinctada imbricata fucata but also highlights differences in immune genes and the presence of distinctive transposon families, suggesting recent adaptive divergence. This data is made available for all to utilise in future studies on the species.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Genomics
Early online date7 Dec 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Dec 2019


  • bivalve
  • transcriptome
  • pearl oyster
  • Pinctada
  • Arabian-Persian Gulf


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