This is the first example of a mollusk genome. The researchers uncovered an extensive set of genes that allow oysters to adapt and cope with environmental stresses, such as temperature variation and changes in salinity, air exposure and heavy metals. Moreover, many immune-related genes were highly expressed in the digestive gland of the oyster, which indicated its digestive system was an important first-line defense organ against pathogens for the filter-feeder. by sequencing the peptides in the shell, researchers identified 259 shell proteins, and further analysis revealed that shell formation was a far more complex process than previously thought.

Nature 2012, online 19 September 2012