Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (12): 22257.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022257

Special Issue: 土壤生物与土壤健康

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Advances in earthworm genomics: Based on whole genome and mitochondrial genome

Junjie Zhai1,2, Huifeng Zhao3, Guangshen Shang1,2, Zhenjun Sun1, Yufeng Zhang3,*(), Xing Wang1,2,*()   

  1. 1. College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193
    2. Beijing Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Organic Farming, Beijing 100193
    3. Hebei Key Laboratory of Animal Diversity, Langfang Normal University, Langfang, Hebei 065000
  • Received:2022-05-11 Accepted:2022-10-01 Online:2022-12-20 Published:2022-12-07
  • Contact: *E-mail:;


Background & Aims: Earthworms, which are known as the ecosystem engineers of the soil, are highly diverse and distributed worldwide. They are used as indicators of soil health. They are highly adaptable to their environment, and their genomes have evolved through the process of adaptation. In this paper, recent research progress of the whole genome and mitochondrial genome of the earthworms are reviewed.
Progresses: The sequencing, assembly and analysis of earthworm genome lay a foundation for the study of earthworm ecology, molecular toxicity mechanism of pollutants to earthworm, molecular mechanism of immune defense, earthworm regeneration and so on. The mitochondrial genome is mostly used in the study of molecular phylogeny of earthworms. Currently, various types of earthworm species have been identified based on mitochondrial genome sequencing.
Prospects: This paper highlights the following aspects of research that should be focused in future studies: (1) Carry out the studies on comparative genomics, evolutionary genomics and functional genomics using the existing whole genome sequencing results of the four species earthworms; (2) Improve the gene libraries and expressed sequence tags of different species of earthworms; (3) Strengthen the association analysis between mitochondrial genome and whole genome with the species diversity of earthworm.

Key words: earthworm, genomics, whole genome, mitochondrial genome, earthworm diversity