Climate change and ocean warming threaten the persistence of corals worldwide. Genomic resources are critical to study the evolutionary trajectory, adaptive potential, and genetic distinctiveness of coral species. Here we provide a reference genome of the cauliflower coral Pocillopora verrucosa, a broadly prevalent reef-building coral with important ecological roles in the maintenance of reefs across the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean. The genome has an assembly size of 380,505,698 bp with a scaffold N50 of 333,696 bp and a contig N50 of 75,704 bp. The annotation of the assembled genome returned 27,439 gene models of which 89.88% have evidence of transcription from RNA-Seq data and 97.87% show homology to known genes. A high proportion of the genome (41.22%) is comprised of repetitive elements in comparison to other cnidarian genomes, in particular in relation to the small genome size of P. verrucosa.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank the Coastal & Marine Resources Core Lab (CMOR) for the aquaria facilities as well as the Bioscience Core Lab (BCL) at KAUST for sequencing. Further, we would like to thank Larissa Morales for support with R code for the repetitive elements analysis and Yi Jin Liew for his support to analyze gff3 files of S. pistillata. In addition, we thank Sebastian Schmidt-Roach for confirming coral species identification based on skeletal morphology. Research reported in this publication was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the University of Konstanz.