Scientists at the Department of Biotechnology (DBT)-Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar have reported for the first time a reference-grade whole genome sequence of a highly salt-tolerantand salt-secreting true-mangrove species, Avicennia marina.
Avicennia marina is one of the most prominent mangroves species found in all mangrove formations in India. It is a salt-secreting and extraordinarily salt-tolerant mangrove species.
It is among the rare plant species, which can excrete 40% of the salt through the salt glands in the leaves, besides its extraordinary capacity to exclude salt entry to the roots.
The genomic resources generated in the study will pave the way for researchers to study the potential of the identified genes for developing drought and salinity tolerant varieties of important crop species of the coastal region that is significant for India with 7,500km. of coastline and two major island systems.
Mangroves are a unique group of species found in marshy intertidal estuarine regions and survive a high degree of salinity through several adaptive mechanisms. Mangroves are important resources for the coastal region and are of great ecological and economic value. They form a link between marine and terrestrial ecosystems, protect shorelines, provide habitat for a diverse array of terrestrial organisms.