Coral reefs are under existential threat from climate change and anthropogenic impacts. Genomic studies have enhanced our knowledge of resilience and responses of some coral species to environmental stress, but reference genomes are lacking for many coral species. The blue coral Heliopora is the only reef-building octocoral genus and exhibits optimal growth at a temperature close to the bleaching threshold of scleractinian corals. Local and high-latitude expansions of Heliopora coerulea were reported in the last decade, but little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying its thermal resistance. We generated a draft genome of H. coerulea with an assembled size of 429.9 Mb, scaffold N50 of 1.42 Mb and BUSCO completeness of 94.9%. The genome contains 239.1 Mb repetitive sequences, 27,108 protein coding genes, 6,225 lncRNAs, and 79 miRNAs. This reference genome provides a valuable resource for in-depth studies on the adaptive mechanisms of corals under climate change and the evolution of skeleton in cnidarian.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Hong Kong Baptist University’s Start-up Grant for New Academics (162780), Environmental and Conservation Fund of Hong Kong SAR (122/2022), the Key Special Project for Introduced Talents Team of Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou) (GML2019ZD0404), and the General Research Fund of Hong Kong SAR Government’s University Grants Committee (12102018). B.K.K.C. was supported by a grant for the Senior Investigator Award, Academia Sinica, Taiwan (AS-IA-105-L03).
© 2023, The Author(s).