Chinese scientists have completed the world's first whole genome sequencing of the Peruvian scallop, an economically important bivalve in Chile, Peru and China.
Wang Chunde, chief scientist of the research group and professor of the Qingdao Agricultural University, said it was the third scallop genome sequence map in the world after the Japanese and Zhikong scallops.
Wang's team finished the genome sequencing, assembly and annotation of the Peruvian scallop. A total of 26,256 protein-coding genes and 3,057 non-coding RNAs were predicted from the genome assembly.
"This genome assembly will provide solid support for in-depth biological studies for further genetic selection and molecular breeding of scallops," Wang said.
The Peruvian scallop, also known as the Chilean scallop, has a life span up to 7-10 years. The cultured scallops can reach a commercial size of around 9 centimeters in shell height within 14-16 months.
The scallop species introduced to China in 2007 has played an important role in stock improvement via hybridization with bay scallops.
Wang and his teammates developed two new breeds of hybrid scallops in the past 10 years, which doubled the weight of bay scallops, with the largest one weighing 206 grams.
One new breed, Bohai Red, has been cultured in half of the aquiculture areas of Shandong, Hebei and Liaoning provinces along China's northeastern coast.
Wang said the current genome data would facilitate genetic analysis of the evolutionary history of scallops throughout the world.