Turning the leaf for the silkworm caterpillar

Today we are releasing the chromosome-length genome assembly for the silkmoth Bombyx mori. The caterpillar stage of the silkmoth, the silkworm, is a valuable source of silk. A single silkworm produces a single continuous silk thread up to 1,300 meters (4,250 feet) in length, and it takes 1700 to 2000 silkworm cocoons to make one silk dress [1]!


The new genome assembly, shared here, is based on the work from the International Silkworm Genome Consortium (International Silkworm Genome Consortium, Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2008). The Hi-C data for the upgrade was generated using insects from the Carolina Biological Supply Company.


To validate the assembly, we compare the positions of 1,451 SNP markers from the Silkworm Genome Research Program website predicted from linkage mapping with their coordinates on the new assembly, below. The datasets are in excellent agreement!


Comparison of SNP marker positions according to the linkage data and predicted by the new assembly.

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