Background Abalones are large marine snails in the family Haliotidae and the genus Haliotis belonging to the class Gastropoda of the phylum Mollusca. The family Haliotidae contains only one genus, Haliotis, and this single genus is known to contain several species of abalone. With 18 additional subspecies, the most comprehensive treatment of Haliotidae considers 56 species valid . Abalone is an economically important fishery and aquaculture animal which is considered a highly-prized seafood delicacy. The total global supply of abalone has increased fivefold since 1970’s and farm productions increased explosively from 50 mt to 103,464 mt in the past forty years. Additionally, researchers have recently focused on Abalone given their reported tumor suppression effect. However, despite the valuable features of this marine animal, no genomic information is available for Haliotidae family and related research is still limited.
Findings In order to construct the H.discus hannai genome, a total of 580G base pairs using Illumina and Pacbio platforms were generated with 322-fold coverage based on the 1.8Gb estimated genome size of H.discus hannai using flow cytometry. The final genome assembly consisted of 1.86Gb with 35,450 scaffolds (>2kb). GC content level was 40.51%, and the N50 length of assembled scaffolds was 211kb. We identified 29,449 genes using Evidence Modeler based on the gene information from ab initio prediction, protein homology with known genes and transcriptome evidence of RNA-seq.
Conclusions Here we present the first Haliotidae genome, Haliotis discus hannai, with sequencing data, assembly, and gene annotation information. This will be helpful for resolving the lack of genomic information in the Haliotidae family as well as providing more opportunities for understanding gastropod evolution.