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Comparative analysis of total carotenoid content in tissues of purple and white inner-shell color pearl mussel, Hyriopsis cumingii

Li, Xilei, Bai, Zhiyi, Luo, Hongrui, Wang, Guiling, Li, Jiale
Aquaculture international 2014 v.22 no.5 pp. 1577-1585
Margaritifera margaritifera, carotenoids, color, freshwater, hepatopancreas, kidneys, muscles, mussels, shell (molluscs), China
The freshwater pearl mussel Hyriopsis cumingii is the most important mussel species for freshwater pearl production in China. Mussel shell color is an important indicator of pearl quality. The objective of this study was to assess whether total carotenoid content (TCC) in H. cumingii is related to shell color. TCC of different tissues (gonad, gill, hepatopancreas, kidney, axe foot, mantle, and adductor muscle) of purple and white inner-shell H. cumingii was determined by UV–Vis spectrophotometry. The results revealed that TCC ranged from 12.91 ± 0.78 to 56.30 ± 0.74 μg/g. In general, TCC was higher in the hepatopancreas, followed by the mantle, gonad, gill, kidney, axe foot, and adductor muscle. TCC in gonad, gill, hepatopancreas, kidney, and mantle of purple mussels was significantly higher than that of white mussels. TCC in mussel tissues of H. cumingii was significantly different (P < 0.001) with respect to shell color. There were significant positive correlations between TCC in mussel mantle and shell color intensity. Future studies will assess the biological roles of carotenoids in shell color formation.