Release the Kraken Genome! – Toby Baril

For the first time, the genomic sequence of the elusive giant squid is revealed in this GigaScience paper. In this collaborative effort, the genetic code of the giant squid has been revealed, which will now serve as an invaluable resource to scientists hoping to understand the evolution of this rarely seen animal. The genome of the giant squid was discovered to be ~2.7 billion DNA base pairs, which means its genome is about 90% of the size of the human genome. 33,406 genes were also identified, including 7 reflectin genes and 3 reflectin-like genes, which likely play a role in the impressive camouflage abilities of the giant squid.

Very little is known about the evolution of cephalopods, and the availability of the genome for future scrutiny will enable detailed investigations into what makes a cephalopod a cephalopod and how the giant squid evolved to become the stuff of legend, famously known as the Kraken.

Toby Baril, SWBio DTP student

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Paper: A draft genome sequence of the elusive giant squid, Architeuthis dux by Rute R da Fonseca, Alvarina Couto, Andre M Machado, Brona Brejova, Carolin B Albertin, Filipe Silva, Paul Gardner, Tobias Baril, Alex Hayward, Alexandre Campos, Ângela M Ribeiro, Inigo Barrio-Hernandez, Henk-Jan Hoving, Ricardo Tafur-Jimenez, Chong Chu, Barbara Frazão, Bent Petersen, Fernando Peñaloza, Francesco Musacchia, Graham C Alexander, Jr, Hugo Osório, Inger Winkelmann, Oleg Simakov, Simon Rasmussen, M Ziaur Rahman, Davide Pisani, Jakob Vinther, Erich Jarvis, Guojie Zhang, Jan M Strugnell, L Filipe C Castro, Olivier Fedrigo, Mateus Patricio, Qiye Li, Sara Rocha, Agostinho Antunes, Yufeng Wu, Bin Ma, Remo Sanges, Tomas Vinar, Blagoy Blagoev, Thomas Sicheritz-Ponten, Rasmus Nielsen, M Thomas P Gilbert in GigaScience.