The wrasses (Labridae) are one of the most successful and species-rich families of the Perciformes order of teleost fish. Its members display great morphological diversity, and occupy distinct trophic levels in coastal waters and coral reefs. The cleaning behaviour displayed by some wrasses, such as corkwing wrasse (Symphodus melops), is of particular interest for the salmon aquaculture industry to combat and control sea lice infestation as an alternative to chemicals and pharmaceuticals. There are still few genome assemblies available within this fish family for comparative and functional studies, despite the rapid increase in genome resources generated during the past years. Here, we present a highly continuous genome assembly of the corkwing wrasse using PacBio SMRT sequencing (x28.8) followed by error correction with paired-end Illumina data (x132.9). The present genome assembly consists of 5040 contigs (N50 = 461,652 bp) and a total size of 614 Mbp, of which 8.5% of the genome sequence encode known repeated elements. The genome assembly covers 94.21% of highly conserved genes across ray-finned fish species. We find evidence for increased copy numbers specific for corkwing wrasse possibly highlighting diversification and adaptive processes in gene families including N-linked glycosylation (ST8SIA6) and stress response kinases (HIPK1). By comparative analyses, we discover that de novo repeats, often not properly investigated during genome annotation, encode hundreds of immune-related genes. This new genomic resource, together with the ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta), will allow for in-depth comparative genomics as well as population genetic analyses for the understudied wrasses.
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