The Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, has a key position in the Southern Ocean food web by serving as direct link between primary producers and apex predators. The south-west Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean, where the majority of the krill population is located, is experiencing one of the most profound environmental changes worldwide. Up to now, we have only cursory information about krill’s genomic plasticity to cope with the ongoing environmental changes induced by anthropogenic CO2 emission. The genome of krill is not yet available due to its large size (about 48 Gbp).
We have developed the most advanced genetic database on Euphausia superba, KrillDB, which includes comprehensive data sets of former and present transcriptome projects. In particular, we have extended previous information with more than 360 million Illumina sequence reads generated from larval krill including individuals subjected to different CO2 levels. With these features, the ‘master’ transcriptome provides the most complete picture of metabolic pathways in Antarctic krill and will provide a major resource for future physiological and molecular studies. This will be particularly valuable for characterizing the molecular networks that respond to stressors caused by the anthropogenic CO2 emissions and krill’s capacity to cope with the ongoing environmental changes.