Background: The channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), a species native to North America, is one of the most important commercial freshwater fish in the world, especially in the United States' aquaculture industry. Since its introduction into China in 1984, both cultivation area and yield of this species have been dramatically increased such that China is now the leading producer of channel catfish. To aid genomic research in this species, data sets such as genetic linkage groups, long-insert libraries, physical maps, bacterial artificial clones (BAC) end sequences (BES), transcriptome assemblies, and reference genome sequences have been generated. Here, using diverse assembly methods, we provide a comparable high-quality genome assembly for a channel catfish from a breeding stock inbred in China for more than three generations, which was originally imported to China from North America.
Findings: Approximately 201.6 gigabases (Gb) of genome reads were sequenced by the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform. Subsequently, we generated high quality, cost-effective and easily assembled sequences of the channel catfish genome with a scaffold N50 of 7.2 Mb and 95.6 % completeness. We also predicted that the channel catfish genome contains 21,556 protein-coding genes and 275.3 Mb (megabase pairs) of repetitive sequences.
Conclusions: We report a high-quality genome assembly of the channel catfish, which is comparable to a recent report of the "Coco" channel catfish. These generated genome data could be used as an initial platform for molecular breeding to obtain novel catfish varieties using genomic approaches.
Keywords: Assembly; Channel catfish; Gene prediction; Repetitive sequence; Whole genome sequencing.