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Molluscan genomics: the road so far and the way forward

Love’s feeling is more soft and sensible than are the horns of cockled snails.

Shakespeare, Love’s Labor’s Lost.

Abstract

Mollusca is the second most species-rich phylum within the metazoans, displaying critical economic, ecological and scientific importance. Yet, they are still largely underrepresented with respect to genomic resources. The emergence of next-generation sequencing technologies has revolutionized deep-scale genomic characterization of non-model organisms, and molluscs are slowly entering this transformative era. Here, we provide a historical contextualization of the Genome Revolution in molluscs with a tour de force revision of key research trends observed over the past decade. Omic approaches such as RAD-seq, transcriptome, mitogenome and whole-genome sequencing represent the most significant resources produced for this phylum. Importantly, the molecular mechanisms underscoring multiple biological novelties and adaptations observed in molluscs are starting to be unravelled. In contrast, compared to other metazoan lineages the genomic resources currently available for this lineage still lag far behind. We put forward that to fully grasp the evolutionary and adaptive roads of this tantalizing group of organisms crucially depends on the full embracement of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies in the near future.

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Acknowledgements

AGS and MLL were funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) under grants SFRH/BD/137935/2018 and SFRH/BD/115728/2016, respectively. This research was developed under ConBiomics: the missing approach for the Conservation of freshwater Bivalves Project No NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-030286, co-financed by COMPETE 2020, Portugal 2020 and the European Union through the ERDF, and by FCT through national funds. Additional strategic funding was provided by FCT UID/Multi/04423/2019.

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Gomes-dos-Santos, A., Lopes-Lima, M., Castro, L.F.C. et al. Molluscan genomics: the road so far and the way forward. Hydrobiologia 847, 1705–1726 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-019-04111-1

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Keywords

  • Review
  • High-throughput sequencing
  • Genomic resources
  • Genome
  • Transcriptome
  • Mitogenome