About A. planci
genus has multiple species inhabiting the Indian Ocean, eastern and western Pacific. The crown-of-thorns seastars (COTS) are covered in long spines producing asterosaponins that when introduced through a puncture can irritate skin. Acanthaster
has lost the five-fold symmetry typical of seastars and the number of arms is variable. The adult crown-of-thorns seastars move rapidly, and are voracious eaters so that overpopulation can result in large scale damage to coral reefs. Numerous population outbreaks and reef destruction motivated sequencing of the Acanthaster planci
genome in the search for methods of biocontrol of the coral reef pest.
The genome assembly for Acanthaster planci, OKI-Apl_1.0, was submitted by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology to NCBI in 2017.
The adult crown-of-thorns seastars are 25 to 35cm and possess up to 23 arms.
The A. planci genome has 10 opsins (PMC6233551).