A draft genome assembly of the solar-powered sea slug Elysia chlorotica

Sci Data. 2019 Feb 19;6:190022. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2019.22.


Elysia chlorotica, a sacoglossan sea slug found off the East Coast of the United States, is well-known for its ability to sequester chloroplasts from its algal prey and survive by photosynthesis for up to 12 months in the absence of food supply. Here we present a draft genome assembly of E. chlorotica that was generated using a hybrid assembly strategy with Illumina short reads and PacBio long reads. The genome assembly comprised 9,989 scaffolds, with a total length of 557 Mb and a scaffold N50 of 442 kb. BUSCO assessment indicated that 93.3% of the expected metazoan genes were completely present in the genome assembly. Annotation of the E. chlorotica genome assembly identified 176 Mb (32.6%) of repetitive sequences and a total of 24,980 protein-coding genes. We anticipate that the annotated draft genome assembly of the E. chlorotica sea slug will promote the investigation of sacoglossan genetics, evolution, and particularly, the genetic signatures accounting for the long-term functioning of algal chloroplasts in an animal.

Publication types

  • Dataset
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gastropoda / genetics*
  • Genome*
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation
  • Photosynthesis

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.7057916.v2