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Genome India Project 


Prelims: Science & Tech. (Important scientific Projects), Genome India Project, Genome Sequencing

Mains: General Studies-III Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology; Indigenization of Technology and Developing New Technology.

Why in the News ?

The government recently announced the completion of sequencing 10,000 healthy genomes from various regions across the country, representing 99 different populations. The aim is to establish a comprehensive database of whole-genome sequences out of India

Source: TH

📌 FYI on Prelims

The Human Genome Project 

  • It was a significant global scientific endeavour whose primary goal was to create the first sequence of the human genome.
  • The Project formally began in 1990 and was completed in 2003, to discover all the estimated 20,000-25,000 human genes and make them accessible for further biological study.
  • Objectives: To create three research tools that will enable scientists to identify genes that are involved in both rare and common diseases.
    • To investigate and educate the public about the ethical, legal, and social implications of new genetic technologies.


  • Genome India Project

    • Initiated:  The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has initiated it in 2020.
    • Aim:  To collect 10,000 genetic samples from citizens across India, to build a reference genome.
    • Objective: Studying genetic differences in Indians for better diagnosis.
    • Other Stakeholders involved: The project involves 20 institutions across India and is led by the Centre for Brain Research at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.
    • Significance: Study India’s genetic diversity for personalized healthcare.
    • India accomplished its first complete human genome sequencing in 2006.
  • Outcomes of the Genome India Project  

    • Population diversity: India has more than 4,600 distinct population groups, with many practicing endogamy. These factors contributed to the genetic diversity of the current population.
    • Unique variations: Some Indian groups have a higher prevalence of disease-causing mutations due to unique variations in their population. This underscores the importance of studying India’s genetic landscape.
    • Note All the data will be stored at the Indian Biological Data Centre (IBDC) for public research. The IBDC is the country’s only databank for life science data, established in 2022.
  • Genome Sequencing

    • About: It is the process of determining the precise order of nucleotides (adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine) within an organism’s DNA.
      • It involves reading the genetic code contained in the DNA molecules to identify specific sequences of nucleotides.
    • Significance: It allows scientists to understand the complete genetic makeup of an organism, including its genes, regulatory sequences, and other functional elements.
    • Applications: Medicine, agriculture, evolutionary biology, and forensic science.


Prelims: PYQ/FAQ

Q. With reference to agriculture in India, how can the technique of ‘genome sequencing’, often seen in the news, be used in the immediate future? (2017)

  1. Genome sequencing can be used to identify genetic markers for disease resistance and drought tolerance in various crop plants.
  2. This technique helps in reducing the time required to develop new varieties of crop plants.
  3. It can be used to decipher the host-pathogen relationships in crops.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

A) 1 only
B) 2 and 3 only
C) 1 and 3 only
D) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: d. 1, 2 and 3


  • Chinese scientists decoded rice genome in 2002. The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) scientists used the genome sequencing to develop better varieties of rice such as Pusa Basmati-1 and Pusa Basmati-1121, which currently makes up substantially in India’s rice export. Several transgenic varieties have also been developed, including insect resistant cotton, herbicide tolerant soybean, and virus resistant papaya. Hence, 1 is correct.
  • In conventional breeding, plant breeders scrutinize their fields and search for individual plants that exhibit desirable traits. These traits arise spontaneously through a process called mutation, but the natural rate of mutation is very slow and unreliable to produce all the plant traits that breeders would like to see. However, in genome sequencing it takes less time, thus it is more preferable. Hence, 2 is correct.
  • The host-pathogen interaction is defined as how microbes or viruses sustain themselves within host organisms on a molecular, cellular, organism or population level. The genome sequencing enables the study of the entire DNA sequence of a crop, thus it aids in understanding of pathogens’ survival or breeding zone. Hence, 3 is correct.

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