Argopecten irradians

Overview

Common NameAtlantic Bay Scallop
Number of Contigs185
Number of ESTs2,428
Background:
The bay scallop (Argopecten irradians) is found in the western North Atlantic along the majority of the United States coast. The bay scallop is a hermaphroditic mollusc with an enlarged, single adductor muscle that is able to quickly clasp both valves together for propulsion. This muscle is a prominent feature observed when the shell is removed, and is a favorite of both scientists and consumers, as it offers an excellent model for understanding muscle physiology and provides a healthy, high-protein food source. The bay scallop is also an excellent scientific model to study visual signal transduction, possessing two distinct classes of photoreceptors. Scallops, like other shellfish, not only have supported important commercial and recreational fisheries, but are an essential component in maintaining a sustainable marine environment. Over the past twenty years populations have experienced significant declines that have been attributed to several factors including habitat loss and fishing pressure. Currently there are several efforts underway to restore wild bay scallop populations as well as use this species as an indicator of coastal ecosystem health.