Building a high-quality reference genome assembly for the the eastern Mediterranean Sea invasive sprinter Lagocephalus sceleratus (Tetraodontiformes, Tetraodontidae)

The Tetraodontidae family encompasses several species which attract scientific interest in terms of their ecology and evolution. However, the genomic resources and especially reference assemblies are sparse for the members of the family. In this study, we focus on the silver-cheeked toadfish (Lagocephalus sceleratus) a well-known ‘invasive sprinter’ that has invaded and spread throughout the Eastern and part of the Western Mediterranean Sea from the Red Sea through the Suez Canal within a decade.

We sequenced the genome of L. sceleratus using a single MinION flow cell for the main assembly, and Illumina reads for polishing the assembly. The resulted assembly consisted of 241 contigs (N50 = 11,3 Mb) with a total size of 360 Mb and yielded 98% BUSCO completeness. The high-quality genome assembly built here is expected to set the ground for future studies on this focal species’ invasive biology.

Authors: Theodoros Danis, Alexandros Tsakogiannis, Jon B. Kristoffersen, Daniel Golani, Dimitris Tsaparis, Panagiotis Kasapidis, Georgios Kotoulas, Antonios Magoulas, Costas S. Tsigenopoulos, Tereza Manousaki