CCMB SCIENTISTS SEQUENCE ASIATIC LION GENOME
14, May 2019
Prelims level : Mains level :
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.
- 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