The phylum Mollusca is one of the major groups of Lophotrochozoa. Although mollusks exhibit great morphological diversity, only a few comparative embryological studies have been performed on this group. In the present study, to begin understanding the molecular development of the diverse morphology among mollusks, we observed early embryogenesis in a bivalve, the Japanese spiny oyster, Saccostrea kegaki. Although several studies have begun to reveal the genetic machinery for early development in gastropods, very little molecular information is available on bivalve embryogenesis. Thus, as a step toward identifying tissue-specific gene markers, we sequenced about 100 cDNA clones picked randomly from a gastrula-stage cDNA library. This basic information on bivalve embryology will be useful for further studies on the development and evolution of mollusks.
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