Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Composition of marsupial zona pellucida: a molecular and phylogenetic approach

Carla Moros-Nicolás A G , Pascale Chevret B , María José Izquierdo-Rico A , William V. Holt C , Daniela Esteban-Díaz A , Manel López-Béjar D , Eva Martínez-Nevado E , Maria A. Nilsson F , José Ballesta A and Manuel Avilés A G
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Murcia, Campus Mare Nostrum and IMIB, Murcia 30100, Spain.

B Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive, UMR5558, CNRS, Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Villeurbanne 69622, France.

C Institute of Zoology, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK.

D Department of Animal Health and Anatomy, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona 08193, Spain.

E Veterinary Department, Zoo-Aquarium Madrid, Casa de Campo s/n., Madrid 28011, Spain.

F Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, Senckenberganlage 25, Frankfurt am Main D-60325, Germany.

G Corresponding authors. Emails: carla.moros@um.es; maviles@um.es

Reproduction, Fertility and Development - https://doi.org/10.1071/RD16519
Submitted: 23 December 2016  Accepted: 20 September 2017   Published online: 22 November 2017

Abstract

The zona pellucida (ZP) is an extracellular matrix that surrounds mammalian oocytes. In eutherians it is formed from three or four proteins (ZP1, ZP2, ZP3, ZP4). In the few marsupials that have been studied, however, only three of these have been characterised (ZP2, ZP3, ZP4). Nevertheless, the composition in marsupials may be more complex, since a duplication of the ZP3 gene was recently described in one species. The aim of this work was to elucidate the ZP composition in marsupials and relate it to the evolution of the ZP gene family. For that, an in silico and molecular analysis was undertaken, focusing on two South American species (gray short-tailed opossum and common opossum) and five Australian species (brushtail possum, koala, Bennett’s wallaby, Tammar wallaby and Tasmanian devil). This analysis identified the presence of ZP1 mRNA and mRNA from two or three paralogues of ZP3 in marsupials. Furthermore, evidence for ZP1 and ZP4 pseudogenes in the South American subfamily Didelphinae and for ZP3 pseudogenes in two marsupials is provided. In conclusion, two different composition models are proposed for marsupials: a model with four proteins (ZP1, ZP2 and ZP3 (two copies)) for the South American species and a model with six proteins (ZP1, ZP2, ZP3 (three copies) and ZP4) for the Australasian species.

Additional keywords: evolution, fertilisation, oocyte, sperm–egg interaction.


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Mutation of a conserved hydrophobic patch prevents incorporation of ZP3 into the zona pellucida surrounding mouse eggs.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXpslGqtrs%3D&md5=3c83365da0ec64f835df2e8f7362526fCAS |



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