scorecardIMTECH to carry out genome sequencing of novel coronavirus
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IMTECH to carry out genome sequencing of novel coronavirus

IMTECH to carry out genome sequencing of novel coronavirus
IndiaIndia1 min read
Chandigarh, Apr 16 () Embarking on an ambitious project, CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) on Thursday said it has initiated whole genome sequencing of the novel coronavirus SARS-Cov-2.

Whole genome sequencing is the method used to determine the complete DNA sequence of a specific organism's genome.

CSIR-IMTECH along with other sister CSIR laboratories, with specialisation in genomics, medicine and cell biology, will carry out large-scale genome sequencing of the various SARS-Cov-2 strains across the country, an official said.

With its expertise in microbial and genomic research, CSIR-IMTECH will perform sequencing of the SARS-Cov-2 RNA genome isolated from clinical samples, he said.

Viruses have higher mutation rate than other microbes and their genetic material keeps on changing quickly as they replicate rapidly.

The complete genome sequence information will enable researchers to gain insights about the origins of the virus, the different types of strains circulating in India and how has it spread across the length and breadth of our country, Sanjeev Khosla, Director, CSIR-IMTECH said.

The genomic resource obtained from this sequencing will also allow identification of new targets for diagnosis and drugs for COVID 19, he said.

"CSIR-IMTECH has been at the forefront in augmenting efforts of the government to fight COVID 19. We have already started clinical testing of samples and now by embarking on this mission to sequence viral strains, we will be better equipped to understand the nature of this virus which has caused a global pandemic," he said in a statement.

CSIR-IMTECH will be using its experience in portable, real-time and direct genome sequencing to study the chemical modification in SARS-Cov-2 strains from India, he said.

CSIR-IMTECH is a national centre for excellence in microbial sciences and was established in 1984. SUN VSD