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Title: A high-quality de novo genome assembly for clapper rail ( Rallus crepitans )
Abstract The clapper rail (Rallus crepitans), of the family Rallidae, is a secretive marsh bird species that is adapted for high salinity habitats. They are very similar in appearance to the closely related king rail (R. elegans), but while king rails are limited primarily to freshwater marshes, clapper rails are highly adapted to tolerate salt marshes. Both species can be found in brackish marshes where they freely hybridize, but the distribution of their respective habitats precludes the formation of a continuous hybrid zone and secondary contact can occur repeatedly. This system, thus, provides unique opportunities to investigate the underlying mechanisms driving their differential salinity tolerance as well as the maintenance of the species boundary between the 2 species. To facilitate these studies, we assembled a de novo reference genome assembly for a female clapper rail. Chicago and HiC libraries were prepared as input for the Dovetail HiRise pipeline to scaffold the genome. The pipeline, however, did not recover the Z chromosome so a custom script was used to assemble the Z chromosome. We generated a near chromosome level assembly with a total length of 994.8 Mb comprising 13,226 scaffolds. The assembly had a scaffold N50 was 82.7 Mb, L50 of four, and had a BUSCO completeness score of 92%. This assembly is among the most contiguous genomes among the species in the family Rallidae. It will serve as an important tool in future studies on avian salinity tolerance, interspecific hybridization, and speciation.  more » « less
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Zetka, M
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G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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