Scientists Decode The Asian Catfish Genome

Asian Scientist –

In a study published in the journal BMC Genomics, scientists in Japan and Vietnam have sequenced the genome of the striped catfish Pangasianodon hypophthalmus.

P. hypophthalmus is found in the Mekong River, the longest river in Southeast Asia and the largest inland fishery in the world. Vietnam stands as the leading producer of the species, culturing an estimated 1.1 million tons of the fish in a single year. But unlike other commercial fish, such as the Atlantic cod or channel catfish, little genomic data exists to guide striped catfish aquaculture.

In this study, scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), Japan, teamed up with researchers at the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology to decode the striped catfish’s entire genome. Using next-generation sequencing techniques, the researchers gathered high-quality genomic data and assembled it into a complete genome.

They compared the new genome to previously published genomic data from channel catfish and zebrafish—a model organism that is evolutionarily related to catfish. The scientists found distinct differences between the Asian catfish and its American cousin, also highlighting differences between the Asian catfish and the zebrafish.

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