New high-quality shrimp genome assembly may reveal why females are superior

Enzootic and NRGene assemble the first high-quality female shrimp genome to enhance all-female shrimp breeding

Tel Aviv, Hong Kong & St. Louis – 5 September 2018 – Enzootic, an animal biotechnology and genetics company leading the all-female shrimp revolution, and NRGene, the world’s leading provider of genomic big data analysis, have completed the sequencing and assembly of the world’s first high- quality genome of freshwater shrimp M. rosenbergii.

The major factor that distinguishes the genome of the female shrimp from that of its male counterpart is the distinctive chromosome (W) carried only by the female. Despite the obvious importance of this chromosome, the sequences and encoding genes unique to this chromosome remained unknown until now.

The incentive to study the genome of female shrimp derived from the dramatic performance advantages of farming all-female populations of shrimp. Enzootic’s leading position in the commercialization of this novel mono-sex strategy led to the partnership with NRGene in a quest to learn more about the performance superiority of female shrimp and to enhance the breeding of the all-female broodstock.

“The preliminary study of this outstanding high-quality genome has already revealed dozens of new previously unknown putative W-specific genes, with a fascinating array of functional motifs that could shed light on the importance of the W chromosome and its potential impact on the performance of females,” said crustacean endocrinologist Prof. Amir Sagi of Ben-Gurion University in the Negev and co-founder of Enzootic. “Further research will be needed to reveal the role of these novel genes and how they regulate the physiology of females under mono-sex aquaculture conditions.”

“Our collaboration with Enzootic on the assembly of the first high-quality, reference-level shrimp genome is part of NRGene’s strategy to support and enhance breeding of highly important animal protein agro-industries, such as shrimp and aquaculture, as a vital food source,” said Dr. Gil Ronen, CEO of NRGene. “We work ceaselessly to continually improve our technology to have an ongoing, powerful, positive impact on the world food supply.”

Indeed, NRGene’s DeNovoMAGICTM 3.0 has been used to assemble more than 350 genomes in less than two years, among them, the first-ever genomes of wheat, potato, strawberry, rye, oat rye-grass, and now female shrimp.

The highly complex shrimp genome delivered by DeNovoMAGICTM resulted in an assembly size of
3.57 Gbp and an N50 scaffold size of 19.84 Mbp with BUSCO scores of 92.7%.

The impact of the female shrimp genome assembly on shrimp production was eloquently expressed by Prof. Xuxiong Huang, Vice Dean of the College of Fisheries and Life Science, Shanghai Ocean University: “Farmed shrimp is an imperative protein source for many countries. In 2016, China alone produced around 3.3 million metric tons of marine and freshwater shrimp, representing about 50% of the global production. This newly assembled high-quality freshwater shrimp genome is an important addition to the advanced technological tools that will be used in coming years in the breeding of shrimp toward a more effective and sustainable shrimp farming industry.” He added: “The freshwater shrimp industry today still predominantly relies on traditional, low-tech methodologies, which lag behind those of other more advanced livestock industries. With the addition of this genome and the introduction of mono-sex technologies, I believe this can promote this industry towards 21st century practices.”

About Enzootic
Enzootic is an animal biotechnology and genetics company, positioned to vertically support breeding and farming of all-female freshwater and marine shrimp. Enzootic’s core IP is a cell-based technology that taps into the natural sexual plasticity of shrimp to produce all-female populations, without the use of genetic modification, hormones or chemicals. Since 2017, the company’s worldwide activities have centered on producing and selling to hatcheries high-end, pathogen-free, unique female broodstock, known as Super-females, which produce only female offspring.

About NRGene
NRGene is a genomic, big data company delivering cutting-edge software and algorithms to their clients to facilitate the modern genomics-based research that is revealing the function, complexity, and diversity of human, plant, and animal genomes that supports the most advanced medical research and sophisticated breeding programs. NRGene tools have already been employed by some of the leading agribiotech companies worldwide, as well as the most influential research teams in academia. Follow us: Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Enzootic Contact
Raveh Gill-More
VP Business Development
+852 9517 3688
+972 54 465-3168

NRGene Contact
Amy Kenigsberg
K2 Global Communications [email protected]
+1-913-440-4072 (+7 ET)
+972-9-794-1681 (+2 GMT)

Daphna Tako

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