coronavirus genome sequencing in India
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Two CSIR institutes in India, the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), New Delhi and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad have started working on the whole-genome sequencing of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Dr. Rakesh Mishra, Director, CCMB said the genome sequencing of the virus will help them to understand its evolution, dynamics and how fast it imitates. The study will provide insights on how fast the virus evolves and what are its future aspects.

The method used to determine the complete DNA sequence of the genome of a specific organism is called whole-genome sequencing. The study involves collecting the samples from COVID-19 positive patients and sending them to a sequencing center.

A large number of samples are required for the genome sequencing study. The conclusion made without much data may not be right. Dr. Mishra said they will be able to make inferences about many biological aspects of the virus once they have a few hundred sequencing data with them.

The researchers will get t least 200-300 isolates in the nest 3-4 weeks and this would help them to make any conclusions about the behavior of the virus. The institutes have requested the National Institute of Virology (NIV)

, Pune for virus isolated from different places for this purpose. Through this, scientists can cover the whole country to get a clearer and bigger picture and a family tree of the virus can be established.

The whole-genome sequencing of samples collected from different parts of India will help scientists to study the origin of the coronavirus, varied mutations, which strain is weak and which is strong and which strain has more similarity. Better isolation strategies can be implemented once the behavior of the virus is understood.

The testing capacity has also increased by these institutes. A large number of people are undergoing mass screening and testing. This would help them to identify the infected individuals and decide they need to go for quarantine or isolation.