IISER Bhopal Researchers Unravel The Genome Of Turmeric
For the first time in the world, researchers have sequenced the genome of the turmeric plant
A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal led by Dr Vineet K. Sharma, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, have sequenced the genome of the turmeric plant for the first time in the world. The results of their path-breaking work have recently been published in a journal belonging to the prestigious Nature group – Communications Biology. The paper has been co-authored by Abhisek Chakraborty, Shruti Mahajan, Shubham K. Jaiswal and Dr Vineet K. Sharma of IISER Bhopal.
With increasing interest in herbal medicines all over the world, researchers are focusing on the poorly understood areas of herbs such as their genetic backgrounds. The developments in DNA and RNA sequencing technologies have spurred on a new discipline called 'herbal genomics' that are targeted to understanding the genetic composition of herbs and their relationship to medicinal traits. Given the nascency of the field of herbal genomics and the complexity of herbal systems, only a few well-assembled herbal genomes have been studied so far.
The researchers have used two techniques – the short-read sequencing of 10x Genomics (Chromium) and long-read Oxford Nanopore sequencing – to unravel the genetic makeup of turmeric. The draft genome assembly had a size of 1.02 Gbp with ~70 per cent repetitive sequences and contained 50,401 coding gene sequences.
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