The turbot is a flatfish (Pleuronectiformes) with increasing commercial value, which has prompted active genomic research aimed at more efficient selection. Here we present the sequence and annotation of the turbot genome, which represents a milestone for both boosting breeding programmes and ascertaining the origin and diversification of flatfish. We compare the turbot genome with model fish genomes to investigate teleost chromosome evolution. We observe a conserved macrosyntenic pattern within Percomorpha and identify large syntenic blocks within the turbot genome related to the teleost genome duplication. We identify gene family expansions and positive selection of genes associated with vision and metabolism of membrane lipids, which suggests adaptation to demersal lifestyle and to cold temperatures, respectively. Our data indicate a quick evolution and diversification of flatfish to adapt to benthic life and provide clues for understanding their controversial origin. Moreover, we investigate the genomic architecture of growth, sex determination and disease resistance, key traits for understanding local adaptation and boosting turbot production, by mapping candidate genes and previously reported quantitative trait loci. The genomic architecture of these productive traits has allowed the identification of candidate genes and enriched pathways that may represent useful information for future marker-assisted selection in turbot.