In a first, IISER scientists sequence genome of giloy plant

‘Despite the known medicinal properties, unavailability of its genome sequence was constraint in studying the genomic basis of medicinal properties’

In a first, IISER scientists sequence genome of giloy plant

Photo for representational purpose only. iStock

New Delhi, September 6

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal have sequenced the genome of giloy, a plant known for its medicinal properties.

According to the team, the genome and transcriptome sequencing of Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia) is important due to its tremendous use in pharmaceuticals and ayurvedic formulations to treat various health conditions, including Covid-19, and can provide deep insights into the genomic basis of its medicinal properties.

The research, claimed by the IISER to be first in the world, has been published in the international “preprint server for biology-bioRxiv”.

The usage of giloy is also recommended under Ayurveda practice by the Ministry of AYUSH and the Ministry of Health, in prophylactic care as well as therapeutic applications for all symptomatic or asymptomatic patients infected with Covid-19. It is also used in fever and diabetes.

“Giloy also has anti-microbial activity and is used in skin diseases, urinary tract infection, and dental plaque, among others. It is also found to reduce the clinical symptoms in HIV-positive patients and its antioxidant activity has anti-cancer and chemo-protective properties. Giloy extracts are found to be potential candidates in treating various cancers like brain tumour, breast cancer, and oral cancer, as well,” said Vineet K. Sharma, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, IISER Bhopal.

The availability of giloy genome will help in bridging the missing link between its genomic and medicinal properties. This study will provide leads for exploring the genomic basis of its medicinal properties.

“Giloy is considered as an important multipurpose medicinal plant in Ayurvedic science. This plant came into the limelight due to its immunomodulatory and antiviral activity after the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been used in various health conditions due to its immune-modulatory, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-cancer properties, among others,” said Shruti Mahajan, PhD student at IISER Bhopal.

“Despite the known medicinal properties, the unavailability of its genome sequence was a constraint in studying the genomic basis of the medicinal properties. Thus, the genome sequence of Giloy could be a breakthrough as the potential therapeutic agent for diseases like Covid in the future,” Mahajan added. PTI

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