Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), also known as Whiteleg shrimp, is a species of prawn native to the eastern Pacific Ocean. L. vannamei is important for fishery in its native area, and its economically value has been arising globally during the past decades, due to increasing production in aquaculture. In 2014, the total world production of L. vannamei was 3,668,681 tons, and it is now the most valuable single species in mariculture. However, mariculture of L. vannamei has been limited by genetic degeneration and diseases such as white spot syndrome, Taura syndrome and Vibrio infections.

To comprehensively understand the genomic and genetic characteristics of this shrimp, and moreover, the Decapoda Crustaceans, whole genome sequencing is necessary. However, the L. vannamei genome is large (2.5Gb) and contains highly repetitive sequences, which has presented significant challenges for the whole genome sequencing project, until now.