De novo assembling and primary analysis of genome and transcriptome of gray whale Eschrichtius robustus

Alexey A. Moskalev, Anna V. Kudryavtseva, Alexander S. Graphodatsky, Violetta R. Beklemisheva, Natalya A. Serdyukova, Konstantin V. Krutovsky, Vadim V. Sharov, Ivan V. Kulakovskiy, Andrey S. Lando, Artem S. Kasianov, Dmitry A. Kuzmin, Yuliya A. Putintseva, Sergey I. Feranchuk, Mikhail V. Shaposhnikov, Vadim E. Fraifeld, Dmitri Toren, Anastasia V. Snezhkina, Vasily V. Sitnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus (E. robustus), is a single member of the family Eschrichtiidae, which is considered to be the most primitive in the class Cetacea. Gray whale is often described as a "living fossil". It is adapted to extreme marine conditions and has a high life expectancy (77 years). The assembly of a gray whale genome and transcriptome will allow to carry out further studies of whale evolution, longevity, and resistance to extreme environment. Results: In this work, we report the first de novo assembly and primary analysis of the E. robustus genome and transcriptome based on kidney and liver samples. The presented draft genome assembly is complete by 55% in terms of a total genome length, but only by 24% in terms of the BUSCO complete gene groups, although 10,895 genes were identified. Transcriptome annotation and comparison with other whale species revealed robust expression of DNA repair and hypoxia-response genes, which is expected for whales. Conclusions: This preliminary study of the gray whale genome and transcriptome provides new data to better understand the whale evolution and the mechanisms of their adaptation to the hypoxic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number258
JournalBMC Evolutionary Biology
StatePublished - 28 Dec 2017


  • DNA repair
  • Eschrichtius robustus
  • Genome
  • Gray whale
  • Hypoxia-response
  • Transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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