Gene expression and specificity in the mature zone of the lobster olfactory organ

Ruben Stepanyan, Kristen Day, Jason Urban, Debra L. Hardin, Ranjit S. Shetty, Charles D. Derby, Barry W. Ache, Timothy S. McClintock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The lobster olfactory organ is an important model for investigating many aspects of the olfactory system. To facilitate study of the molecular basis of olfaction in lobsters, we made a subtracted cDNA library from the mature zone of the olfactory organ of Homarus americanus, the American lobster. Sequencing of the 5′-end of 5,184 cDNA clones produced 2,389 distinct high-quality sequences consisting of 1,944 singlets and 445 contigs. Matches to known sequences corresponded with the types of cells present in the olfactory organ, including specific markers of olfactory sensory neurons, auxiliary cells, secretory cells of the aesthetasc tegumental gland, and epithelial cells. The wealth of neuronal mRNAs represented among the sequences reflected the preponderance of neurons in the tissue. The sequences identified candidate genes responsible for known functions and suggested new functions not previously recognized in the olfactory organ. A cDNA microarray was designed and tested by assessing mRNA abundance differences between two of the lobster's major chemosensory structures: the mature zone of the olfactory organ and the dactyl of the walking legs, a taste organ. The 115 differences detected again emphasized the abundance of neurons in the olfactory organ, especially a cluster of mRNAs encoding cytoskeletal-associated proteins and cell adhesion molecules such as 14-3-3ζ, actins, tubulins, trophinin, Fax, Yel077cp, suppressor of profilin 2, and gelsolin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-233
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiological Genomics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 13 2006


  • Bioinformatics
  • Crustacea
  • Microarray
  • Neurogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics


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