Morphological, Molecular, Biochemical and Nutritional Characterization of Three Major Thais Species from the Sindh Coast of Pakistan

Syed Abid Ali1, *, §, Fozia Humayun1, §, Iqra Munir1, Shakil Ahmad1, Zarrien Ayub2, Habib Fatima3, Lakht-e- Zehra4, Muhammad Samee Haider4
1 H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, Karachi-75270, Pakistan
2 Center of Excellence for Marine Biology, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan
3 Department of Physiology, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan;
4 Food & Marine Resources Research Centre, PCSIR Labs Complex, Karachi 75280, Pakistan

© 2018 Ali et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the H.E.J. Research Institute for Chemistry, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, Karachi-75270, Pakistan; Tel:0092-21-99261720; Fax:0092-2134819018-19; Email:

§ shared first author



The present study was conducted to investigate the biomass assessment, morphological and molecular identification, nutritive status and biochemical characterization of three major Thais species (T. bufo, T. hippocastanum and T. rudolphi) from the Sindh Coast, Pakistan.


Samples were collected from Buleji and Paradise Point at the Sindh Coast. Species were identified morphologically as well as genetically by amplifying two mitochondrial 16S rDNA & Cytochrome Oxidase I (COI) and one nuclear (Histone H3) genes. Shell microstructure and chemistry were also studied by scanning electron microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX). The body muscle was dissected and used for nutritional composition determination such as estimation of total protein, carbohydrates, lipids, protein fingerprinting by Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate-Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and Size-Exclusion - Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography (SEC-FPLC), amino acid and fatty acid analysis.


Nutritionally, the total protein was found to be the major content followed by carbohydrate and lipid in the three Thais sp. The presence of medicinally important hemocyanin as abundant hemolymph protein was confirmed via SDS-PAGE and SEC FPLC. Nine different types of fatty acids and a high concentration of essential amino acids were also determined.


Our findings suggest that Thais sp. are nutritionally rich and can be consumed as a valuable marine resource to overcome the malnutrition problem in developing countries.

Keywords: Gastropods, Proteins, Amino acids, Alternative food, Thais, Sindh coast.