Generation of physical map contig-specific sequences useful for whole genome sequence scaffolding

PLoS One. 2013 Oct 24;8(10):e78872. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078872. eCollection 2013.


Along with the rapid advances of the nextgen sequencing technologies, more and more species are added to the list of organisms whose whole genomes are sequenced. However, the assembled draft genome of many organisms consists of numerous small contigs, due to the short length of the reads generated by nextgen sequencing platforms. In order to improve the assembly and bring the genome contigs together, more genome resources are needed. In this study, we developed a strategy to generate a valuable genome resource, physical map contig-specific sequences, which are randomly distributed genome sequences in each physical contig. Two-dimensional tagging method was used to create specific tags for 1,824 physical contigs, in which the cost was dramatically reduced. A total of 94,111,841 100-bp reads and 315,277 assembled contigs are identified containing physical map contig-specific tags. The physical map contig-specific sequences along with the currently available BAC end sequences were then used to anchor the catfish draft genome contigs. A total of 156,457 genome contigs (~79% of whole genome sequencing assembly) were anchored and grouped into 1,824 pools, in which 16,680 unique genes were annotated. The physical map contig-specific sequences are valuable resources to link physical map, genetic linkage map and draft whole genome sequences, consequently have the capability to improve the whole genome sequences assembly and scaffolding, and improve the genome-wide comparative analysis as well. The strategy developed in this study could also be adopted in other species whose whole genome assembly is still facing a challenge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes, Artificial, Bacterial / genetics
  • Contig Mapping / methods*
  • Genomics

Grant support

This project was supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive 2010-65205-20356 and 2012-67015-19410 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.