September 22, 2019  |  

Whole-genome sequencing of Chinese yellow catfish provides a valuable genetic resource for high-throughput identification of toxin genes.

Naturally derived toxins from animals are good raw materials for drug development. As a representative venomous teleost, Chinese yellow catfish (Pelteobagrus fulvidraco) can provide valuable resources for studies on toxin genes. Its venom glands are located in the pectoral and dorsal fins. Although with such interesting biologic traits and great value in economy, Chinese yellow catfish is still lacking a sequenced genome. Here, we report a high-quality genome assembly of Chinese yellow catfish using a combination of next-generation Illumina and third-generation PacBio sequencing platforms. The final assembly reached 714 Mb, with a contig N50 of 970 kb and a scaffold N50 of 3.65 Mb, respectively. We also annotated 21,562 protein-coding genes, in which 97.59% were assigned at least one functional annotation. Based on the genome sequence, we analyzed toxin genes in Chinese yellow catfish. Finally, we identified 207 toxin genes and classified them into three major groups. Interestingly, we also expanded a previously reported sex-related region (to ˜6 Mb) in the achieved genome assembly, and localized two important toxin genes within this region. In summary, we assembled a high-quality genome of Chinese yellow catfish and performed high-throughput identification of toxin genes from a genomic view. Therefore, the limited number of toxin sequences in public databases will be remarkably improved once we integrate multi-omics data from more and more sequenced species.

September 22, 2019  |  

An improved genome assembly for Larimichthys crocea reveals hepcidin gene expansion with diversified regulation and function.

Larimichthys crocea (large yellow croaker) is a type of perciform fish well known for its peculiar physiological properties and economic value. Here, we constructed an improved version of the L. crocea genome assembly, which contained 26,100 protein-coding genes. Twenty-four pseudo-chromosomes of L. crocea were also reconstructed, comprising 90% of the genome assembly. This improved assembly revealed several expansions in gene families associated with olfactory detection, detoxification, and innate immunity. Specifically, six hepcidin genes (LcHamps) were identified in L. crocea, possibly resulting from lineage-specific gene duplication. All LcHamps possessed similar genomic structures and functional domains, but varied substantially with respect to expression pattern, transcriptional regulation, and biological function. LcHamp1 was associated specifically with iron metabolism, while LcHamp2s were functionally diverse, involving in antibacterial activity, antiviral activity, and regulation of intracellular iron metabolism. This functional diversity among gene copies may have allowed L. crocea to adapt to diverse environmental conditions.

September 22, 2019  |  

First draft genome for red sea bream of family Sparidae.

Reference genomes for all organisms on earth are now attainable owing to advances in genome sequencing technologies (Goodwin et al., 2016). Generally, species that contribute considerably to the economy or human welfare are sequenced and are considered more important than others. Furthermore, coastal indigenous people mainly depend on marine species for their food sources, which has resulted in the extinction of several marine species (Cisneros-Montemayor et al., 2016). Of these, an extinction risk assessment of marine fishes, mainly for sea breams (Family: Sparidae), has recently been conducted by way of a global extinction risk assessment from the dataset of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List Process, which mentions that around 25 species are threatened/near-threatened according to their body weight (Comeros-Raynal et al., 2016). Another report clearly showed the benefit of worldwide aquaculture production, which contributed to 47% of total seafood production, and also highlighted the over-fishing of sea breams (FAO, 2018). The Republic of Korea is the fourth largest seafood producer in the world, producing 3.3 million tons in 2015 and exporting seafood worth $1.6 billion in 2016; therefore, aquaculture- associated research is fundamental for Korea. In the present study, the red sea bream (Pagrus major), which belongs to the family Sparidae, which comprises 35 genera, 132 species, and 10 subspecies (de la Herran et al., 2001; NCBI, 2018), was assessed.

September 22, 2019  |  

Genome of Tenualosa ilisha from the river Padma, Bangladesh.

Hilsa shad (Tenualosa ilisha), is a popular fish of Bangladesh belonging to the Clupeidae family. An anadromous species, like the salmon and many other migratory fish, it is a unique species that lives in the sea and travels to freshwater rivers for spawning. During its entire life, Tenualosa ilisha migrates both from sea to freshwater and vice versa.The genome of Tenualosa ilisha collected from the river Padma of Rajshahi, Bangladesh has been sequenced and its de novo hybrid assembly and structural annotations are being reported here. Illumina and PacBio sequencing platforms were used for high depth sequencing and the draft genome assembly was found to be 816 MB with N50 size of 188 kb. MAKER gene annotation tool predicted 31,254 gene models. Benchmarking Universal Single-Copy Orthologs refer 95% completeness of the assembled genome.

September 21, 2019  |  

Multi-Locus Variable number of tandem repeat Analysis (MLVA) of Yersinia ruckeri confirms the existence of host-specificity, geographic endemism and anthropogenic dissemination of virulent clones.

A Multi-Locus Variable number of tandem repeat Analysis (MLVA) assay was developed for epizootiological study of the internationally significant fish pathogen Yersinia ruckeri, which causes yersiniosis in salmonids. The assay involves amplification of ten Variable Number of Tandem Repeat (VNTR) loci in two five-plex PCR reactions, followed by capillary electrophoresis. A collection of 484 Y. ruckeri isolates, originating from various biological sources and collected from four continents over seven decades, was analysed. Minimum spanning tree cluster analysis of MLVA profiles separated the studied population into nine major clonal complexes, and a number of minor clusters and singletons. The major clonal complexes could be associated with host species, geographic origin and serotype. A single large clonal complex of serotype O1 isolates dominating the yersiniosis situation in international rainbow trout farming suggests anthropogenic spread of this clone, possibly related to transport of fish. Moreover, sub-clustering within this clonal complex indicates putative transmission routes and multiple biotype shift events. In contrast to the situation in rainbow trout, Y. ruckeri strains associated with disease in Atlantic salmon appear as more or less geographically isolated clonal complexes. A single complex of serotype O1 exclusive to Norway was found to be responsible for almost all major yersiniosis outbreaks in modern Norwegian salmon farming, and site-specific sub-clustering further indicates persistent colonisation of freshwater farms in Norway. Identification of genetically diverse Y. ruckeri isolates from clinically healthy fish and environmental sources also suggests the widespread existence of less virulent or avirulent strains.Importance This comprehensive population study substantially improves our understanding of the epizootiological history and nature of an internationally important fish pathogenic bacterium. The MLVA assay developed and presented represents a high-resolution typing tool particularly well suited for Yersinia ruckeri infection tracing, selection of strains for vaccine inclusion, and risk assessment. The ability of the assay to separate isolates into geographically linked and/or possibly host-specific clusters reflects its potential utility for maintenance of national biosecurity. The MLVA is internationally applicable, robust, and provides clear, unambiguous and easily interpreted results. Typing is reasonably inexpensive, with a moderate technological requirement, and may be completed from a harvested colony within a single working day. As the resulting MLVA profiles are readily portable, any Y. ruckeri strain may rapidly be placed in a global epizootiological context. Copyright © 2018 Gulla et al.

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