The Korea Institute for Basic Science (IBS) announced that it completed the world’s first high-resolution genetic map for the SARS-COV-2, the coronavirus strain that causes the COVID-19 disease. The finding could contribute to the further development of COVID-19 diagnostics reagents and possible treatments in the future.
The institute said that a research team led by professors Kim V. Narry and Chang Hye-sik from the Department of Life Sciences at Seoul National University made the study through joint research with the National Institute of Health at the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The IBS uploaded the details of the research study to the online version of Cell, a life science peer-reviewed scientific journal for research paper.
The research team utilized next-generation analytical methods to identify the exact location of the coronavirus gene. The team used techniques such as Nanopore Direct RNA Sequencing to analyze both the RNA Transcriptome produced by infiltrating into host cells and the genes of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Additionally, the method found multiple chemical deformations on viral RNA and at least 41 new RNAs. The research team located the virus genes on the genome by understanding the construction of the virus’ Transcriptome.
SARS-CoV-2, as a coronavirus, consists of RNAs. When entering the host cell, the coronavirus duplicates RNAs holding genetic info while creating sub-genetic RNAs that produce several structural proteins. The group of RNAs generated inside the host cell is called the Transcriptome.
The study resulted in a map revealing the hidden genetic code of SARS-CoV-2. The researchers offer various information for follow-up researches by creating big data on Transcriptome and dielectric in the study.
China’s Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center and others released information early in January about the DNA gene of SARS-CoV-2. Researchers made diagnostic kits based on that information.
Kim said that they have to study the newly discovered RNA modifications further to verify if the findings play a role in virus duplication and immune response.