The channel catfish genome sequence provides insights into the evolution of scale formation in teleosts

Zhanjiang Liu, Shikai Liu, Jun Yao, Lisui Bao, Jiaren Zhang, Yun Li, Chen Jiang, Luyang Sun, Ruijia Wang, Yu Zhang, Tao Zhou, Qifan Zeng, Qiang Fu, Sen Gao, Ning Li, Sergey Koren, Yanliang Jiang, Aleksey Zimin, Peng Xu, Adam M. PhillippyXin Geng, Lin Song, Fanyue Sun, Chao Li, Xiaozhu Wang, Ailu Chen, Yulin Jin, Zihao Yuan, Yujia Yang, Suxu Tan, Eric Peatman, Jianguo Lu, Zhenkui Qin, Rex Dunham, Zhaoxia Li, Tad Sonstegard, Jianbin Feng, Roy G. Danzmann, Steven Schroeder, Brian Scheffler, Mary V. Duke, Linda Ballard, Huseyin Kucuktas, Ludmilla Kaltenboeck, Haixia Liu, Jonathan Armbruster, Yangjie Xie, Mona L. Kirby, Yi Tian, Mary Elizabeth Flanagan, Weijie Mu, Geoffrey C. Waldbieser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

243 Scopus citations


Catfish represent 12% of teleost or 6.3% of all vertebrate species, and are of enormous economic value. Here we report a high-quality reference genome sequence of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), the major aquaculture species in the US. The reference genome sequence was validated by genetic mapping of 54,000 SNPs, and annotated with 26,661 predicted protein-coding genes. Through comparative analysis of genomes and transcriptomes of scaled and scaleless fish and scale regeneration experiments, we address the genomic basis for the most striking physical characteristic of catfish, the evolutionary loss of scales and provide evidence that lack of secretory calcium-binding phosphoproteins accounts for the evolutionary loss of scales in catfish. The channel catfish reference genome sequence, along with two additional genome sequences and transcriptomes of scaled catfishes, provide crucial resources for evolutionary and biological studies. This work also demonstrates the power of comparative subtraction of candidate genes for traits of structural significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11757
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - Jun 2 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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