Draft genome of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus and genetic polymorphism among color variants

Jihoon Jo, Jooseong Oh, Hyun Gwan Lee, Hyun Hee Hong, Sung Gwon Lee, Seongmin Cheon, Elizabeth M.A. Kern, Soyeong Jin, Sung Jin Cho, Joong Ki Park, Chungoo Park

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

29 Scopus citations


The Japanese sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus Selenka 1867) is an economically important species as a source of seafood and ingredient in traditional medicine. It is mainly found off the coasts of northeast Asia. Recently, substantial exploitation and widespread biotic diseases in A. japonicus have generated increasing conservation concern. However, the genomic knowledge base and resources available for researchers to use in managing this natural resource and to establish genetically based breeding systems for sea cucumber aquaculture are still in a nascent stage. A total of 312 Gb of raw sequences were generated using the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform and assembled to a final size of 0.66 Gb, which is about 80.5% of the estimated genome size (0.82 Gb).We observed nucleotide-level heterozygosity within the assembled genome to be 0.986%. The resulting draft genome assembly comprising 132 607 scaffolds with an N50 value of 10.5 kb contains a total of 21 771 predicted protein-coding genes. We identified 6.6-14.5 million heterozygous single nucleotide polymorphisms in the assembled genome of the three natural color variants (green, red, and black), resulting in an estimated nucleotide diversity of 0.00146. We report the first draft genome of A. japonicus and provide a general overview of the genetic variation in the three major color variants of A. japonicus. These data will help provide a comprehensive view of the genetic, physiological, and evolutionary relationships among color variants in A. japonicus, and will be invaluable resources for sea cucumber genomic research.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.


  • Apostichopus japonicas
  • Color variants
  • Genetic variation
  • Population genomics
  • Sea cucumber genome


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