Scientists with the Chinese Academy of Sciences are studying Chinese prawn, a marine creature, on the level of genome. This move will not only enable China to catch up from behind in the research on prawn genome, but also signifies that China's study on genome is extending to the sea. The study on oceanic creatures has entered the genome age.
After many years of efforts, the Institute of Oceanology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences was the first in the world to obtain transgenosis kelp and prawn; the "micro-satellite sequence" of Chinese prawns has been registered in the international database; in the process of participating in the human genome program, the Human Genome Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has built up large-scale genome measuring ability.
As the symbol of an element, genome study needs a large number of EST (expressing sequential tag). Sources say that on the basis of the Chinese prawn cDNA library, scientists of the Chinese Academy of Sciences finished measuring 10,000 EST in one month and processed relevant information, thereby conducting study on the comprehensive utilization of functional genes, creating necessary conditions and accumulating related data for thorough genetic decoding of prawn. So far, the number of EST of prawns published internationally is less than 1,000.
In the opinion of experts, implementation of the project will not only help greatly enhance humans' understanding of the disease and disease-resistance ability of oceanic creatures, but will also enable China's genome study to advance into a new field.
(People's Daily 11/09/2000)