A team led by Jianhai XIANG and Fuhua LI solved the genome of shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) and obtained a high-quality shrimp genome reference map. Decapod crustaceans contain a large number of important aquatic species, such as shrimp, crab, lobster, etc., and Litopenaeus vannamei is the first among the four cultured shrimps, with an annual output of 4.16 million tons. Prawns have a highly developed vision system, a pair of compound eyes that connect freely moving eye stalks. Each compound eye contains about 5.5-8 million small eyes resulting in a wide viewing angle. Comparative genomics analysis revealed that the long-wavelength opsin gene in the shrimp genome is significantly expanded, which may be related to the organism’s adaptation to the dark benthic environment. The nerve conduction velocity of shrimps is 200 ms-1, the fastest among reported species. A large number of gene families related to nerve signaling are significantly expanded, especially, glutamate and glycine receptors.

CAS news release, January 23, 2019