The Northern snakehead (Channa argus), a member of the Channidae family of the Perciformes, is an economically important freshwater fish native to East Asia. In North America, it has become notorious as an intentionally released invasive species. Its ability to breathe air with gills and migrate short distances over land makes it a good model for bimodal breath research. Therefore, recent research has focused on the identification of relevant candidate genes. Here, we performed whole genome sequencing of C. argus to construct its draft genome, aiming to offer useful information for further functional studies and identification of target genes related to its unusual facultative air breathing. Findings: We assembled the C. argus genome with a total of 140.3 Gb of raw reads, which were sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq2000 platform. The final draft genome assembly was approximately 615.3 Mb, with a contig N50 of 81.4 kb and scaffold N50 of 4.5 Mb. The identified repeat sequences account for 18.9% of the whole genome. The 19 877 protein-coding genes were predicted from the genome assembly, with an average of 10.5 exons per gene. Conclusion: We generated a high-quality draft genome of C. argus, which will provide a valuable genetic resource for further biomedical investigations of this economically important teleost fish.
Keywords: Channa argus; annotation; gene prediction; genome assembly.
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.