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IndiGen Program

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IndiGen Program:


Context:

Results from the extensive computation analysis of the 1029 sequenced genomes from India were published recently.

  • This analysis was carried out under IndiGen Program.

Key findings:

  • The analysis led to the identification of 55,898,122 single nucleotide variants in the India genome dataset.
  • Comparisons with the global genome datasets revealed that 18,016,257 (32.23%) variants were unique and found only in the samples sequenced from India. This emphasizes the need for an India centric population genomic initiative.

Why this genome data is significant? What can it be used for?

  • It helps to classify variants involved in mendelian disorders and improve precision medicine outcomes.
  • The resource can also enable the identification of markers for carrier screening, variations causing genetic diseases, prevention of adverse events and provide better diagnosis and optimal therapy through mining data of clinically actionable pharmacogenetic variants.
  • The data will allow researchers to build Indian-specific reference genome dataset and efficiently impute haplotype information. This resource can provide useful insights for clinicians and researchers in comprehending genetics not only at the population level but at the individual level.

About the Genomics for Public Health in India (IndiGen) programme:

CSIR initiated the Program in April 2019.

It aims to undertake whole genome sequencing of thousands of individuals representing diverse ethnic groups from India.

  • The objective is to enable genetic epidemiology and develop public health technologies applications using population genome data.

What is Gene Sequencing?

A genome is the DNA or sequence of genes in a cell.

  • Most of the DNA is in the nucleus and intricately coiled into a structure called the chromosome.
  • Every human cell contains a pair of chromosomes, each of which has three billion base pairs or one of four molecules that pair in precise ways
  • The order of base pairs and varying lengths of these sequences constitute the “genes”.

Sequencing a genome means deciphering the exact order of base pairs in an individual.

 InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are genes?
  2. What is genome sequencing?
  3. What are chromosomes?
  4. About IndiGen programme.
  5. Applications of gene sequencing.

Mains Link:

What do you understand by Genome Sequencing? Discuss the various efforts by India in this regard and how will it lead to precision medicine and develop its commercial gene testing services?

Sources: PIB.