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CCMB scientists sequence Asiatic lion genome

Topic covered:

  1. Biotechnology related issues.


CCMB scientists sequence Asiatic lion genome


What to study?

For prelims: What is genome sequencing? About asiatic lion and CCMB.

For mains: Significance of the project.


Context: For the first time, the entire genome of Asiatic lion has been sequenced by scientists from CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad.

The objective is to understand the species at DNA level and study if there are any specific problems with regard to adaptability to environment or behaviour vis-à-vis other big cats.


Need and significance:

This firsthand information would help researchers to better understand the evolution of Asiatic lions and also make possible comparative analysis with other big cats.

The genome sequencing would enable scientists to develop specific markers to study population genetics (the differences at the gene level within a population) and get newer insights into its population status and subsequent management.

The study will enable better disease and population management of the endangered big cat by identifying characteristics which are specific to Asiatic lions.


About Asiatic Lion:

  • IUCN Red List Status: Endangered
  • Listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, in Appendix I of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
  • At present the only home of Asiatic lion is Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat.
  • The population of the endangered Asiatic lion is very low — only 523 animals are present in the Gir forests.


Sources: The Hindu.