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Carotenoids in Pearl Oyster Pinctada fucata: The Tissue Distribution and Correlation to Color Parameters

Carotenoids in Pearl Oyster Pinctada fucata: The Tissue Distribution and Correlation to Color Parameters

Bo Zhang1, Changbo Zhu1, Zihao Meng1,4, Baosuo Liu1, Lian Zhong3, Guiju Huang1, Jiaqi Su1, Sigang Fan1 and Dahui Yu1,2,*

1Key Laboratory of South China Sea Fishery Resources Exploitation and Utilization, Ministry of Agriculture, South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Guangzhou 510300, China
2Guangxi Key Laboratory of Beibu Gulf Marine Biodiversity Conservation, Qinzhou University, Qinzhou 535011, China
3Yanzhou Center for Product Quality Control, Yanzhou 272000, Shandong, China
4College of Fisheries and Life Science, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, China

*      Corresponding author:



The pearl oyster, Pinctada fucata, is an economically important and carotenoid-containing bivalve shellfish that is cultured for pearls and acts as a source of seafood. To investigate the distribution of carotenoids in P. fucata and establish a more efficient method to assess carotenoid contents, we measured the carotenoid levels in selectively bred P. fucata individuals of different colors and analyzed the correlations between TCC (total carotenoid content) and color parameters. The percentage of total carotenoids in the adductor, gill, mantle, and visceral mass was 6.50%, 10.79%, 15.11% and 67.61%, respectively. Generally, the tissue-specific carotenoid distribution is ranked in the order being adductor < mantle < gill < visceral mass. Significant correlations were found between TCC and the color parameters, with the highest fit (r = 0.908) in the Pearson’s correlation between the color parameter, a* (red degree), and TCC of the adductor. Measuring the a* is, therefore, likely to be an appropriate, rapid, reliable, and nondestructive method to estimate TCC in bivalves.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology


Vol. 52, Iss. 4, Pages 1225-1630


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