Helobdella robusta (Freshwater leech) (Helro1)

About Helobdella robusta

Helobdella robusta is a freshwater leech, a type of annelid with anterior and posterior suckers that are used for locomotion and feeding (on blood or soft body parts). Leeches are hermaphroditic, and some species, including H. robusta, show a considerable degree of parental care. During oviposition, up to 100 eggs are attached to the mother in cocoons, and an adhesive gland ensures that the hatchlings remain attached; the young leeches continue to cling on after their suckers develop, during which time they feed on snails killed by their mother [1].

H. robusta has many characteristics that are representative of annelids and, more generally, lophotrochozoans, and its genome was sequenced alongside another annelid (Capitella teleta) and a mollusc (Lottia gigantea) to provide insight into metazoan evolution [2]. The genomic data also promotes the use of this species as a model organism for studies of evolutionary development.

Picture credit (Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0): Ajna Rivera

Taxonomy ID 6412

Data source Joint Genome Institute

More information and statistics

Genome assembly: Helro1

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Download DNA sequence (FASTA)

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Gene annotation

What can I find? Protein-coding and non-coding genes, splice variants, cDNA and protein sequences, non-coding RNAs.

More about this genebuild

Download genes, cDNAs, ncRNA, proteins - FASTA - GFF3

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Comparative genomics

What can I find? Homologues, gene trees, and whole genome alignments across multiple species.

More about comparative analyses

Phylogenetic overview of gene families

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This species currently has no variation database. However you can process your own variants using the Variant Effect Predictor:

Variant Effect Predictor