Meeting Abstract

S2-1.2  Wednesday, Jan. 4  Bringing genomics to non-model organisms: the promise of de novo genome assembly and population genetics of the fish Kryptolebias marmoratus KELLEY, JL*; YEE, MC; LEE, C; LEVANDOWSKY, E; SHAH, M; HARKINS, T; EARLEY, RL; BUSTAMANTE, CD; Stanford University, University of Chicago; Stanford University; Life Technologies; Life Technologies; Life Technologies; Life Technologies; University of Alabama; Stanford University

How organisms diverge and adapt to the range of environments they encounter is a fundamental question in biology. Elucidating the genetic basis of adaptation is a difficult task, especially when the targets of selection are not known. In this genomics era, emerging sequencing technologies and assembly algorithms facilitate the genomic dissection of adaptation and differentiation in a vast array of organisms with informative or unusual life histories. Here, we leverage genomic data to characterize the genome of Kryptolebias marmoratus, the only known self-fertilizing hermaphroditic vertebrate. K. marmoratus is an attractive genetic system and a model for behavioral genomics because long periods of inbreeding result in naturally homozygous fish and the fish can be easily reared in the laboratory. To date, microsatellite markers have been used to distinguish wild clonal strains. These populations have a remarkable variety of identifiable phenotypes and encounter a wide-range of environments, including fresh to brackish water. The naturally homozygous strains present distinct phenotypes that segregate between them, making this a tractable system to study both within- and among-population differentiation. High homozygosity improves the quality of de novo genome assembly and facilitates the identification of variants associated with phenotypes. Gene annotation is accomplished with RNA-sequencing data. By combining genomic information with extensive laboratory-based phenotyping we aim to map genetic variants underlying differences in behavioral traits and other potentially adaptive traits. This project highlights the use of emerging genomic technologies to create the required resources for establishing K. marmoratus as a new model organism for behavioral genetics and evolutionary genetics research.