Aquatic insects comprise 10% of all insect diversity, can be found on every continent except Antarctica, and are key components of freshwater ecosystems. However, aquatic insect genome biology lags dramatically behind that of terrestrial insects. If genomic effort was spread evenly, one aquatic insect genome would be sequenced for every ~9 terrestrial insect genomes. Instead, ~24 terrestrial insect genomes have been sequenced for every aquatic insect genome. This discrepancy is even more dramatic if the quality of genomic resources is considered; for instance, while no aquatic insect genome has been assembled to the chromosome level, 29 terrestrial insect genomes spanning four orders have. We argue that a lack of aquatic insect genomes is not due to any underlying difficulty (e.g., small body sizes or unusually large genomes), yet it is severely hampering aquatic insect research at both fundamental and applied scales. By expanding the availability of aquatic insect genomes, we will gain key insight into insect diversification and empower future research for a globally important taxonomic group.
Draft genome of the aquatic moss Fontinalis antipyretica (Fontinalaceae, Bryophyta)
Mosses comprise one of three lineages forming a sister group to extant vascular plants. Having emerged from an early split in the diversification of embryophytes, mosses may offer complementary insights into the evolution of traits following the transition to, and colonization of, land. Here, we report the draft nuclear genome of Fontinalis antipyretica (Fontinalaceae, Hypnales), a charismatic aquatic moss that is widespread in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. We sequenced and de novo-assembled its genome using the 10X Genomics method. The genome comprises 385.2 Mbp, with a scaffold N50 of 45.8 Kbp. The assembly captured 87.2% of the 430 genes in the BUSCO Viridiplantae odb10 dataset. The newly generated F. antipyretica genome is the third moss genome, and the second seedless aquatic plant genome, to be sequenced and assembled to date.
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