Genome of the ocean sunfish (Mola mola).

Dataset type: Genomic
Data released on August 18, 2016

Pan H; Yu H; Ravi V; Li C; Lee AP; Lian MM; Tay B; Wang J; Brenner S; Yang H; Zhang G; Venkatesh B (2016): Genome of the ocean sunfish (Mola mola). GigaScience Database.


The ocean sunfish (Mola mola) which can grow up to a length of 2.7 m and weigh 2.3 tons is the world’s largest bony fish. It exhibits an extremely fast growth rate and possesses an endoskeleton made up largely of cartilage. Another unique feature of the sunfish is the loss of caudal fin which is replaced by a broad and stiff lobe resulting in the characteristic truncated appearance of the fish. To get an insight into the genomic bases of these derived phenotypes, we sequenced the ocean sunfish genome and performed comparative analysis with other teleost genomes. Several ocean sunfish genes involved in the GH/IGF1 axis signaling pathway were found to be under positive selection or accelerated evolution, which might explain its fast growth rate and large body size. A number of genes associated with the extracellular matrix, some of which are involved in the regulation of bone and cartilage development, have also undergone positive selection or accelerated evolution. The ocean sunfish contains seven Hox clusters similar to fugu but contains more Hox genes than fugu. Thus, it appears that the caudal fin loss in ocean sunfish is not associated with the loss of any specific Hox gene. Our analyses provide insights into the molecular basis of the fast growth rate and large size of the sunfish. The high-quality genome assembly generated in this study should facilitate further studies of this ‘natural mutant’.

Additional details

Read the peer-reviewed publication(s):

Accessions (data generated as part of this study):

BioProject: PRJNA305960

Sample IDTaxonomic IDCommon NameGenbank NameScientific NameSample Attributes
sunfish blood94237 ocean sunfishMola mola Description:The sunfish blood sample was collected...
Alternative accession-BioProject:PRJNA305960
Alternative names:SRA319445 and MBDK00000000
T295994237 ocean sunfishMola mola Analyte type:DNA
Life stage:Adult
Description:Ocean sunfish (Mola mola) fin clip sam...
T297994237 ocean sunfishMola mola Analyte type:DNA
Life stage:Adult
Description:Ocean sunfish (Mola mola) fin clip sam...
Displaying 1-3 of 3 Sample(s).

File NameSample IDData TypeFile FormatSizeRelease Date 
OtherUNKNOWN1.3 KB2016-08-04
AnnotationGFF53.56 MB2016-08-04
AnnotationGFF24.83 MB2016-08-04
AnnotationGFF43.25 MB2016-08-04
AnnotationGFF16.94 MB2016-08-04
AnnotationGFF14.18 MB2016-08-04
AnnotationGFF12.25 MB2016-08-04
AnnotationGFF11.49 MB2016-08-04
AnnotationGFF15.95 MB2016-08-04
AnnotationGFF17.58 MB2016-08-04
Displaying 1-10 of 22 File(s).
Date Action
August 18, 2016 Dataset publish
September 19, 2016 Manuscript Link added : 10.1186/s13742-016-0144-3