Biology Faculty Articles

Draft genome of Bugula neritina, a colonial animal packing powerful symbionts and potential medicines

Mikhail Rayko, St. Petersburg State University - Russia
Aleksey Komissarov, ITMO University - St. Petersburg, Russia
Jason C. Kwan, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Grace Lim-Fong, Randolph-Macon College
Adelaide C. Rhodes, Zoologistics Consulting
Sergey Kliver, ITMO University - St. Petersburg, Russia; Russian Academy of Sciences
Polina Kuchur, ITMO University - St. Petersburg, Russia
Stephen James O'Brien, Nova Southeastern University; ITMO University
Jose V. Lopez, Nova Southeastern University

A.K. and P.K. were supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research Grants 17-00-00144 as part of 17-00-00148. A.K. was financially supported by the Government of the Russian Federation through the ITMO Fellowship and Professorship Program. MR’s contribution was supported by St. Petersburg State University, Russia (grant ID PURE 51555639). This genome will be considered as one of the target species of the Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance (GIGA).


Many animal phyla have no representatives within the catalog of whole metazoan genome sequences. This dataset fills in one gap in the genome knowledge of animal phyla with a draft genome of Bugula neritina (phylum Bryozoa). Interest in this species spans ecology and biomedical sciences because B. neritina is the natural source of bioactive compounds called bryostatins. Here we present a draft assembly of the B. neritina genome obtained from PacBio and Illumina HiSeq data, as well as genes and proteins predicted de novo and verified using transcriptome data, along with the functional annotation. These sequences will permit a better understanding of host-symbiont interactions at the genomic level, and also contribute additional phylogenomic markers to evaluate Lophophorate or Lophotrochozoa phylogenetic relationships. The effort also fits well with plans to ultimately sequence all orders of the Metazoa.