Draft genome of an iconic Red Sea reef fish, the blacktail butterflyfish (Chaetodon austriacus): current status and its characteristics

Joseph DiBattista, Xin Wang, Pablo Saenz Agudelo, Marek J. Piatek, Manuel Aranda, Michael L. Berumen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Butterflyfish are among the most iconic of the coral reef fishes and represent a model system to study general questions of biogeography, evolution and population genetics. We assembled and annotated the genome sequence of the blacktail butterflyfish (Chaetodon austriacus), an Arabian region endemic species that is reliant on coral reefs for food and shelter. Using available bony fish (superclass Osteichthyes) genomes as a reference, a total of 28 926 high-quality protein-coding genes were predicted from 13 967 assembled scaffolds. The quality and completeness of the draft genome of C. austriacus suggest that it has the potential to serve as a resource for studies on the co-evolution of reef fish adaptations to the unique Red Sea environment, as well as a comparison of gene sequences between closely related congeneric species of butterflyfish distributed more broadly across the tropical Indo-Pacific. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-355
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Ecology Resources
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 29 2016

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): CRG-1-2012-BER-002
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the KAUST Office of Competitive Research Funds (OCRF) under Award No. CRG-1-2012-BER-002 and Baseline Research Funds to M.L.B., as well as a National Geographic Society Grant 9024-11 to J.D.D. For logistic support, we thank Eric Mason at Dream Divers in Saudi Arabia and the KAUST Coastal and Marine Resources Core Lab including Amr Gusti. We also acknowledge important contributions from Luiz Rocha and David Catania for assistance with specimen archiving at the California Academy of Sciences; Yi Jin Liew for providing essential scripts for annotation and species classification as well as provisioning the genome browser; the KAUST Bioscience Core Laboratory with Sivakumar Neelamegam and Hicham Mansour for their assistance with library prep and Illumina sequencing; and Genotypic Technology Pvt. Ltd. with Dinesh Velayutham, Vinay Pantulwar and Subashini for their assistance with library prep, Illumina sequencing, genome assembly and genome annotation. J.D.D. and M.L.B. conceived and designed the genome study. J.D.D., P.S.-S. and M.J.P. analysed the data. X.W. and M.A. validated, annotated and analysed the genome. All authors developed the manuscript and approve of the final manuscript.


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