July 19, 2019  |  

The genome of Schmidtea mediterranea and the evolution of core cellular mechanisms.

Authors: Grohme, Markus Alexander and Schloissnig, Siegfried and Rozanski, Andrei and Pippel, Martin and Young, George Robert and Winkler, Sylke and Brandl, Holger and Henry, Ian and Dahl, Andreas and Powell, Sean and Hiller, Michael and Myers, Eugene and Rink, Jochen Christian

The planarian Schmidtea mediterranea is an important model for stem cell research and regeneration, but adequate genome resources for this species have been lacking. Here we report a highly contiguous genome assembly of S. mediterranea, using long-read sequencing and a de novo assembler (MARVEL) enhanced for low-complexity reads. The S. mediterranea genome is highly polymorphic and repetitive, and harbours a novel class of giant retroelements. Furthermore, the genome assembly lacks a number of highly conserved genes, including critical components of the mitotic spindle assembly checkpoint, but planarians maintain checkpoint function. Our genome assembly provides a key model system resource that will be useful for studying regeneration and the evolutionary plasticity of core cell biological mechanisms.

Journal: Nature
DOI: 10.1038/nature25473
Year: 2018

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