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Institute of Life Sciences Bhubaneswar Decodes Genome Of Salt-Secreting Mangrove Species

Bhubaneswar:7/10/21: Scientists at the Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar and SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Tamil Nadu have reported for the first time a reference-grade whole genome sequence of a highly salt-tolerant and salt-secreting true-mangrove species, Avicennia marina, said a  Ministry of Science & Technology press release issued today.

Mangroves are a unique group of species found in marshy intertidal estuarine regions and survive a high degree of salinity through several adaptive mechanisms.

Mangroves are important resources for the coastal region and are of great ecological and economic value. They form a link between marine and terrestrial ecosystems, protect shorelines, provide habitat for a diverse array of terrestrial organisms.

Avicennia marina is one of the most prominent mangroves species found in all mangrove formations in India.

It is a salt-secreting and extraordinarily salt-tolerant mangrove species that grows optimally in 75% seawater and tolerates >250% seawater.

It is among the rare plant species, which can excrete 40% of the salt through the salt glands in the leaves, besides its extraordinary capacity to exclude salt entry to the roots.

This study published in the recent issue of the Nature Communications Biology reports the assemblage of a 456.6 Mb of the estimated 462.7 Mb A. marina genome (98.7% genome coverage) in 31 chromosomes derived from 88 scaffolds and 252 contigs.

The percentage of genomes in gaps was 0.26%, thereby proving it to be a high-level assembly.

The A. marina genome assembled in this study is nearly complete and can be considered as a reference-grade genome reported so far for any mangrove species globally and the first report from India.

This study employed the latest genome sequencing and assembling technologies and identified 31,477 protein-coding genes and a “salinome” consisting of 3246 salinity-responsive genes and homologs of 614 experimentally validated salinity tolerance genes.

The study reported identification of 614 genes, including 159 transcription factors, which are homologous to the genes that were functionally validated for salinity tolerance in transgenic systems.

This study assumes significance as agriculture productivity globally is affected due to abiotic stress factors such as limited water availability and salinization of soil and water.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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