Background: The Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheir sinensis, is one of the most studied and economically important crustaceans in China. Its transition from a swimming to a crawling method of movement during early development, anadromous migration during growth, and catadromous migration during breeding have been attractive features for research. However, knowledge of the underlying molecular mechanisms that regulate these processes is still very limited.
Findings: A total of 258.8 gigabases (Gb) of raw reads from whole-genome sequencing of the crab were generated by the Illumina HiSeq2000 platform. The final genome assembly (1.12 Gb), about 67.5 % of the estimated genome size (1.66 Gb), is composed of 17,553 scaffolds (>2 kb) with an N50 of 224 kb. We identified 14,436 genes using AUGUSTUS, of which 7,549 were shown to have significant supporting evidence using the GLEAN pipeline. This gene number is much greater than that of the horseshoe crab, and the annotation completeness, as evaluated by CEGMA, reached 66.9 %.
Conclusions: We report the first genome sequencing, assembly, and annotation of the Chinese mitten crab. The assembled draft genome will provide a valuable resource for the study of essential developmental processes and genetic determination of important traits of the Chinese mitten crab, and also for investigating crustacean evolution.
Keywords: Annotation; Assembly; Crab genome; Genomics.