De novo assembly and annotation of the Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) genome

David Ryder, David Stone, Diana Minardi, Ainsley Riley, Justin Avant, Lisa Cross, Marta Söffker, Deborah Davidson, Andrew Newman, Peter Thomson, Chris Darby, Ronny van Aerle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) is an economically and ecologically important fish species in the family Nototheniidae. Juveniles occupy progressively deeper waters as they mature and grow, and adults have been caught as deep as 2500 m, living on or in just above the southern shelves and slopes around the sub-Antarctic islands of the Southern Ocean. As apex predators, they are a key part of the food web, feeding on a variety of prey, including krill, squid, and other fish. Despite its importance, genomic sequence data, which could be used for more accurate dating of the divergence between Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish, or establish whether it shares adaptations to temperature with fish living in more polar or equatorial climes, has so far been limited.

Results: A high-quality D. eleginoides genome was generated using a combination of Illumina, PacBio and Omni-C sequencing technologies. To aid the genome annotation, the transcriptome derived from a variety of toothfish tissues was also generated using both short and long read sequencing methods. The final genome assembly was 797.8 Mb with a N50 scaffold length of 3.5 Mb. Approximately 31.7% of the genome consisted of repetitive elements. A total of 35,543 putative protein-coding regions were identified, of which 50% have been functionally annotated. Transcriptomics analysis showed that approximately 64% of the predicted genes (22,617 genes) were found to be expressed in the tissues sampled. Comparative genomics analysis revealed that the anti-freeze glycoprotein (AFGP) locus of D. eleginoides does not contain any AFGP proteins compared to the same locus in the Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni). This is in agreement with previously published results looking at hybridization signals and confirms that Patagonian toothfish do not possess AFGP coding sequences in their genome.

Conclusions: We have assembled and annotated the Patagonian toothfish genome, which will provide a valuable genetic resource for ecological and evolutionary studies on this and other closely related species.
Original languageEnglish
Article number233
JournalBMC Genomics
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2024


  • Dissostichus eleginoides
  • Illumina sequencing
  • PacBio sequencing
  • Anti-freeze glycoprotein
  • Nototheniidae

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