A new genome assembly of an African weakly electric fish (Campylomormyrus compressirostris, Mormyridae) indicates rapid gene family evolution in Osteoglossomorpha

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2023
Auteurs:Cheng, F., Dennis, A. B., Osuoha, J. Ijeoma, Canitz, J., Kirschbaum, F., Tiedemann R.
Date Published:Mar-20-2023

Abstract Background Teleost fishes comprise more than half of the vertebrate species. Within teleosts, most phylogenies consider the split between Osteoglossomorpha and Euteleosteomorpha/Otomorpha as basal, preceded only by the derivation of the most primitive group of teleosts, the Elopomorpha. While Osteoglossomorpha are generally species poor, the taxon contains the African weakly electric fish (Mormyroidei), which have radiated into numerous species. Within the mormyrids, the genus Campylomormyrus is mostly endemic to the Congo Basin. Campylomormyrus serves as a model to understand mechanisms of adaptive radiation and ecological speciation, especially with regard to its highly diverse species-specific electric organ discharges (EOD). Currently, there are few well-annotated genomes available for electric fish in general and mormyrids in particular. Our study aims at producing a high-quality genome assembly and to use this to examine genome evolution in relation to other teleosts. This will facilitate further understanding of the evolution of the osteoglossomorpha fish in general and of electric fish in particular. Results A high-quality weakly electric fish (C. compressirostris) genome was produced from a single individual with a genome size of 862 Mb, consisting of 1,497 contigs with an N50 of 1,399 kb and a GC-content of 43.69%. Gene predictions identified 34,492 protein-coding genes, which is a higher number than in the two other available Osteoglossomorpha genomes of Paramormyrops kingsleyae and Scleropages formosus. A Computational Analysis of gene Family Evolution (CAFE5) comparing 33 teleost fish genomes suggests an overall faster gene family turnover rate in Osteoglossomorpha than in Otomorpha and Euteleosteomorpha. Moreover, the ratios of expanded/contracted gene family numbers in Osteoglossomorpha are significantly higher than in the other two taxa, except for species that had undergone an additional genome duplication (Cyprinus carpio and Oncorhynchus mykiss). As potassium channel proteins are hypothesized to play a key role in EOD diversity among species, we put a special focus on them, and manually curated 16 Kv1 genes. We identified a tandem duplication in the KCNA7a gene in the genome of C. compressirostris. Conclusions We present the fourth genome of an electric fish and the third well-annotated genome for Osteoglossomorpha, enabling us to compare gene family evolution among major teleost lineages. Osteoglossomorpha appear to exhibit rapid gene family evolution, with more gene family expansions than contractions. The curated Kv1 gene family showed seven gene clusters, which is more than in other analyzed fish genomes outside Osteoglossomorpha. The KCNA7a, encoding for a potassium channel central for EOD production and modulation, is tandemly duplicated which may related to the diverse EOD observed among Campylomormyrus species.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith