New Delhi: Scientists from DBT-Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar and SRM-DBT Partnership Platform for Advanced Life Sciences Technologies, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Tamil Nadu first reported a whole genome reference sequence of a true mangrove species highly tolerant to salt and secreting salt,Avicennia marina.

Mangroves are a unique group of species found in swampy intertidal estuarine regions and survive a high degree of salinity through several adaptation mechanisms. Mangroves are important resources for the coastal region and have great ecological and economic value. They form a link between marine and terrestrial ecosystems, protect shorelines, provide habitat for a wide range of terrestrial organisms.

Avicennia marina is one of the most important mangrove species found in all mangrove formations in India. It is a salt-secreting and extremely salt-tolerant mangrove species that grows optimally in 75% seawater and tolerates over 250% seawater. It is one of the rare plant species that can excrete 40% of the salt by the salt glands of the leaves. , in addition to its extraordinary ability to exclude the entry of salt into the roots.

This study published in the recent issue of Nature Communications Biology reports the assembly of 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 the gaps was 0.26%, thus proving that this was a high level assembly. A. marina The genome assembled in this study is almost complete and can be considered as a reference genome reported so far for all mangrove species in the world and the first report from India ”.

This study used the latest genome sequencing and assembly technologies and identified 31,477 genes encoding proteins and a “salinoma” composed of 3,246 genes sensitive to salinity and homologs of 614 experimentally validated salinity tolerance genes. . The study reported the identification of 614 genes, 159 of which are transcriptional. factors, which are homologous to genes that have been functionally validated for salinity tolerance in transgenic systems.

This study is growing in importance as agricultural productivity globally is affected due to abiotic stressors such as limited water availability and salinization of soil and water. The availability of water is a significant challenge for agricultural production in drylands, accounting for about 40 percent of the world’s total land area. Salinity is prevalent in around 900 million hectares worldwide (with an estimated 6.73 million hectares in India), and is estimated to cause an annual loss of US $ 27 billion. The genomic resources generated in the study will pave the way for researchers to study the potential of the identified genes for the development of drought and salinity tolerant varieties of important plant species of the coastal region which is important to India with 7,500 m of coastline and two main island systems.

Avicennia marina – a salt tolerant mangrove species

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Salt glands in mangrove species

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Map of genes A. marina

About DBT

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, stimulates and increases the development of the biotechnology ecosystem in India through its expansion and application in agriculture, healthcare, science animals, the environment and industry.

About DBT-ILS

The Institute of Life Sciences has a broad vision of carrying out high quality multidisciplinary research in the field of life sciences. The aim is the overall development and improvement of human health, longevity, agriculture and the environment. The stated mission of the institution is to work for the betterment of human society and to generate qualified human resources for future India.



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