Modeling the metabolic profile of Mytilus edulis reveals molecular signatures linked to gonadal development, sex and environmental site

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Jaanika Kronberg
  • Jonathan J. Byrne
  • Jeroen Jansen
  • Philipp Antczak
  • John Bignell
  • Ioanna Katsiadaki
  • Francesco Falciani

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Tartu
  • Radboud Universiteit
  • Cefas Weymouth Laboratory


The monitoring of anthropogenic chemicals in the aquatic environment including their potential effects on aquatic organisms, is important for protecting life under water, a key sustainable development goal. In parallel with monitoring the concentrations of chemicals of concern, sentinel species are often used to investigate the biological effects of contaminants. Among these, bivalve molluscs such as mussels are filter-feeding and sessile, hence an excellent model system for measuring localized pollution. This study investigates the relationship between the metabolic state of the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) and its physiology in different environments. We developed a computational model based on a reference site (relatively unpolluted) and integrated seasonal dynamics of metabolite relative concentrations with key physiological indicators and environmental parameters. The analysis of the model revealed that changes in metabolite levels during an annual cycle are influenced by water temperature and are linked to gonadal development. This work supports the importance of data-driven biology and its potential in environmental monitoring.

Bibliographic note

Funding Information: PhD studentship of JK was funded by BBSRC (award reference 991068). This work has been also partially supported by a NERC Grant (NE/I028246/2) to FF. Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s).


Original languageEnglish
Article number12882
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jun 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jun 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas