Researchers sequence genome of herb, Giloy
Giloy's genome has been sequenced by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER)-Bhopal. Giloy is a medicinal plant that is widely utilised in allopathic medications and ayurveda formulations to treat a variety of health issues.
Giloy is a significant Ayurvedic multipurpose medicinal herb. It has been used to treat a variety of health disorders due to its immune-modulatory, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-cancer qualities.
It is often used to treat skin conditions, urinary tract infections, and dental plaque. Additionally, it has been shown to alleviate clinical symptoms in HIV-positive patients, and its antioxidant activity has been shown to have anti-cancer and chemoprotective qualities. Giloy extracts have been identified as prospective candidates for the treatment of a variety of malignancies, including brain tumours, breast cancer, and oral cancer. The plant has lately gained attention for its immunomodulatory and antiviral properties in the aftermath of the COVID-19 epidemic.
A significant component of the work is that this is the first species sequenced from the Menispermaceae plant family, which includes over 400 species with medicinal properties. It will aid in a variety of comparative genomic research and serve as a reference for future species sequenced within its genus and family.
The MetaBioSys Group at the Institute conducted this research, which focuses on the Indian microbiome, namely the gut, scalp, and skin microbiomes in healthy and ill persons. Additionally, they are involved in the sequencing and functional analysis of novel eukaryotic and prokaryotic genomes through the development and application of revolutionary machine learning-based software for big data biological analysis.
Dr. Vineet K. Sharma, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, headed the study team, which included PhD students Shruti Mahajan and Abhisek Chakraborty, as well as BS-MS student Titas Sil. A report on the work has been posted to the bioRxiv, the worldwide preprint server for biology.
The authors highlighted that prior research indicated that a Giloy drug inhibited two SARS-CoV-2 virus proteases, notably Mpro and Spike proteases, and that another compound was anticipated to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Mpro while also disrupting the viral spike protein and host ACE-2 relationship.
The herb's numerous therapeutic qualities are due to the presence of secondary metabolites. Despite these medical capabilities, the lack of a sequence for its genome hampered research into the genetic basis of the medicinal properties. Thus, Giloy's genome sequence could be a game changer in the future as a potential therapeutic agent for disorders such as COVID.