NIH Research Festival
FARE Award Winner
Over the decades, a small number of model species, each representative of a larger taxa, have dominated the field of biological research. Amongst fishes, zebrafish (Danio rerio) has gained popularity over most other species and while their value as a model is well documented, their usefulness is limited in certain fields of research such as behavior. By embracing other, less conventional experimental organisms, opportunities arise to gain broader insights into evolution and development, as well as studying behavioral aspects not available in current popular model systems. The anabantoid paradise fish (Macropodus opercularis), an ‚Äúair-breather‚Äù species from Southeast Asia, has a highly complex behavioral repertoire and has been the subject of many ethological investigations, but lacks genomic resources. Here we report the draft genome of Macropodus opercularis. The final assembly consisted of ~485 Mb on 162 contigs. Within the assembled genome we were able to identify and annotate 20,157 protein coding genes and assigned ~90% of them to orthogroups. Completeness analysis showed that 98.5% of the Actionpterygii core gene set (ODB10) was present as a complete ortholog in our draft genome with a further 1.2 % being present in a fragmented form. Additionally, we cloned multiple genes important during early development and using newly developed in situ hybridization protocols, we show that they have conserved expression patterns.This annotated and validated paradise fish genome will be essential to establish this species as a model for future comparative neurogenetic, genomic, evolutionary, and ethological studies.
Scientific Focus Area: Computational Biology
This page was last updated on Monday, September 25, 2023