Marbled crayfish are the only freshwater crayfish known to reproduce by cloning (apomictic parthenogenesis). Notably, among genetically identical offspring raised in the same environment phenotypic differences can be observed. Such non-genomic characteristics render the marbled crayfish an interesting laboratory model, especially for the field of epigenetics. We experimentally determined the genome size at approximately 3.8 Gbp by k-mer analysis and flow cytometry. Two individual females (Koelle, Steuerwald) were sequenced using shotgun sequencing with various insert sizes generating 350 Gbp and 196 Gbp of data respectively. High coverage sequencing data of Koelle was used to produce a first de novo draft assembly with a length weighted median contig size (N50) of 809 bp and scaffold N50 of 41 kb. To unambiguously demonstrate clonal reproduction in the marbled crayfish we are currently evaluating sequencing data from the second individual (Steuerwald). Transcriptome data provides additional information for quality control and assembly refinement. Genome wide comparisons to other arthropods will allow us to define characteristic features of decapods as ecologically and economically keystone species.
Keywords: None provided