A draft genome assembly of reef-building octocoral Heliopora coerulea

Jack Chi-Ho Ip*, Ming-Hay Ho, Benny K. K. Chan, Jian-Wen Qiu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number381
Number of pages10
JournalScientific data
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Information Systems
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Library and Information Sciences


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