Genome Sequencing of Basil (Tulsi)

Date: June 03, 2015

DNA profiling genome sequencing

Scientists sequence ‘tulsi’ genome

CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal & Aromatic Plants (CSIR-CIMAP), Lucknow, has published whole genome sequence of Ocimum sanctum, the wonder plant ‘Holy basil’ or ‘Tulsi’.Holy Basil is rich in organic compounds such as phenylpropanoids and terpenoids which are known to have therapeutic properties. The availability of the genome sequence now opens the possibility of identifying genes involved in producing therapeutic molecules and to produce them in vitro (in the lab) according to CSIR.

Considering the metabolic and therapeutic potential of this revered plant, the availability of whole genome sequence is the first step to understand and unravel the secrets of this ‘mother of all herbs’ and to provide scientific validity to the traditional claims of its utility in diverse medicinal usage. 

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This is the first report of complete genome sequence of a traditional and most respected medicinal plant of India, using a composite next generation sequencing technologies.

Whole genome sequencing:

Whole genome sequencing (also known as full genome sequencing, complete genome sequencing, or entire genome sequencing) is a laboratory process that determines the complete DNA sequence of an organism's genome at a single time. This entails sequencing all of an organism's chromosomal DNA as well as DNA contained in the mitochondria and, for plants, in the chloroplast.

Whole genome sequencing should not be confused with DNA profiling, which only determines the likelihood that genetic material came from a particular individual or group, and does not contain additional information on genetic relationships, origin or susceptibility to specific diseases.