Background: The golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) is a freshwater snail listed among the top 100 worst invasive species worldwide and a noted agricultural and quarantine pest that causes great economic losses. It is characterized by fast growth, strong stress tolerance, a high reproduction rate, and adaptation to a broad range of environments.
Results: Here, we used long-read sequencing to produce a 440-Mb high-quality, chromosome-level assembly of the P. canaliculata genome. In total, 50 Mb (11.4%) repeat sequences and 21,533 gene models were identified in the genome. The major findings of this study include the recent explosion of DNA/hAT-Charlie transposable elements, the expansion of the P450 gene family, and the constitution of the cellular homeostasis system, which contributes to ecological plasticity in stress adaptation. In addition, the high transcriptional levels of perivitelline genes in the ovary and albumen gland promote the function of nutrient supply and defense ability in eggs. Furthermore, the gut metagenome also contains diverse genes for food digestion and xenobiotic degradation.
Conclusions: These findings collectively provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms of the ecological plasticity and high invasiveness.