English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

DNA sequencing facility for wild animals started in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Government has established a state-of-the-art DNA sequencing facility for wildlife in the State (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@supriyasahuias)

With the objective of protecting animals and providing assistance in wildlife crime cases, Tamil Nadu Government has established a state-of-the-art DNA sequencing facility. It was inaugurated at the Centre for Wildlife Forensics and Wildlife Histopathology Laboratory located at the Advanced Institute of Wildlife Conservation in Chennai by Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Climate Change and Forest.

Describing the facility as the first one established and run by a State Forest Department, Sahu said DNA sequencing has application in several areas. She said: “For instance, we are implementing Elephant Death Audit Framework and forensics plays a crucial role in bringing a logical conclusion to a case, be it convicting an accused or finding the exact root cause of the death.”

With the availability of this resource, the State Government will be able to save time and money as at present it was dependent on Central laboratories for sequencing. Plans are afoot to obtain accreditation from National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories to enable processing of samples from outside the State

The sequencing facility will help identification of pathogenic diseases and their control. Thus, early diagnosis can enable prevention of an outbreak. Further, it will also improve the conviction rate in wildlife crimes with the help of forensic evidence.

The equipment for the facility has an 8-capillary automatic sanger sequence analyser that can sequence a large number of DNA samples in a short period of time.

A histopathology unit was also opened at AIWC to process tissue samples for disease diagnosis. This is a vital tool for helping in the final diagnosis of the cause of death of an animal.