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Gigascience. 2017 Apr 1;6(4):1-5. doi: 10.1093/gigascience/gix011.

Draft genome of the Northern snakehead, Channa argus.

Xu J1, Bian C2,3,4, Chen K5, Liu G6, Jiang Y1, Luo Q5, You X2,3, Peng W1,7, Li J3, Huang Y3, Yi Y3, Dong C1,8, Deng H9, Zhang S1, Zhang H1, Shi Q2,3,10, Xu P1,7.

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Key Laboratory of Aquatic Genomics, Ministry of Agriculture, CAFS Key Laboratory of Aquatic Genomics and Beijing Key Laboratory of Fishery Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Fengtai, Beijing, 100141, China.
BGI Research Center for Aquatic Genomics, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Shenzhen, Guangdong, 518083, China.
Shenzhen Key Lab of Marine Genomics, Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of Molecular Breeding in Marine Economic Animals, BGI, Shenzhen, Guangdong, 518083, China.
Centre of Reproduction, Development and Aging, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Taipa, Macau, China.
Pearl River Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510380, China.
CAS Key Laboratory of Genome Sciences and Information, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chaoyang, Beijing, 100029, China.
Fujian Collaborative Innovation Center for Exploitation and Utilization of Marine Biological Resources, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, 361102, China.
College of Fishery, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang, Henan, 453007, China.
Research Institute of Forestry Policy and Information,Chinese Academy of Forestry, Haidian, Beijing, 100091, China.
Laboratory of Aquatic Genomics, College of Ecology and Evolution, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510275, China.


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.


Channa argus; annotation; gene prediction; genome assembly

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