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CCMB invents DNA technology to count Tigers

Written by: Staff
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Hyderabad, Nov 21: Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) Director Lalji Singh announced that the prestigious Science Institute has developed new methodology for counting Tigers using its faecal samples.

Talking to newspersons here yesterday, Dr Singh said in the new method, DNA would be isolated from the faecal sample collected from the forests. DNA was isolated from the scats that were collected from the areas, he added.

He said samples were positively identified as tiger with the DNA- based assay that the CCMB developed.

Claiming that it was the first of its kind method developed by the CCMB in the world, he said the pilot project was carried out at Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary and at BRT sanctuary. Scat samples were collected randomly and conducted DNA test to count the tigers in the sanctuaries.

In the study, the CCMB has identified the unique Short Tandem Repeat (STR) regions in Tigers for identifying individuals and calculated the probability of obtaining the similar fingerprints in closely related individuals.

It was found that with the STRs it was possible to distinguish between even closely related animals with a 99 per cent certainty.

This part of study was confirmed with captive tigers before embarking on DNA analysis of samples collected from the forest, he added.

Dr Singh said the new method was more appropriate than the traditional method ''Pugmark'' for estimating tiger population. This method was developed by a Phd Scholar of CCMB Ms Josna, he added.

UNI

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