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GS 3 : Science & Technology

Why in news?

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.
  • It 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.

Asiatic Lion:

  • It is listed as Endangered by IUCN Red List.
  • It is 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
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