IISER Bhopal researchers unveil yellow genome

For the first time in the world, researchers have sequenced the genome of the yellow tree

A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal, led by Dr. Binit K. Sharma, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, has sequenced the genome of turmeric for the first time in the world. The results of their pathbreaking work were recently published in the journal Nature Group – Communications Biology. Co-authors of the paper are Abhishek Chakraborty, Shruti Mahajan, Shubham K. Jaiswal and Dr. Binit K. of IISER Bhopal. Sharma 6

With a growing interest in herbal medicine around the world, researchers are focusing on poor understanding of herbs, such as their genetic background. Developments in DNA and RNA sequencing technology have led to a new discipline called ‘herbal genomics’ aimed at understanding the genetic makeup of herbs and their relationship to medicinal properties. Given the beginnings of the field of herbal genomics and the complexity of herbal methods, so far only a few well-integrated herbal genomes have been studied.

Researchers have used two techniques – short-read sequencing of 10x genomics (chromium) and long-reading Oxford Nanopore sequencing – to uncover the yellow genetic makeup. The draft genome assembly size was 1.02 Gbp with ~ 70 percent repetitive sequence and 50,401 coding gene sequences.

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