The Indian cobra reference genome and transcriptome enables comprehensive identification of venom toxins

In this study, we report a de novo near-chromosomal genome assembly of Naja naja, the Indian cobra, a highly venomous and medically important snake. With a scaffold N50 of 223.35 Mb, this is the most contiguous reptilian genome published to date.
NG cobra
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A comprehensive annotation pipeline identified 23,248 predicted protein-coding genes, of which 12,346 were venom-gland-expressed genes and constitute the ‘venom-ome.’ Venom gene-specific gene models were generated to identify 139 genes from 33 toxin families. This will aid in synthetic venom production through recombinant toxin expression and the rapid development of safe and effective synthetic antivenom. Additionally, this genome will serve as a reference for snake genomes, support evolutionary studies and enable venom-driven drug discovery.1

A

Circos plot

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Transcriptome data
Figure 1. A) Circos plot of the chromosomal Indian cobra genome assembly depicting the chromosomes, repetitive content, GC content and other characteristics. B) Transcriptome data overlaid on the high-quality genome allowed identification of genes primarily expressed in the Indian cobra venom gland.

1. Suryamohan, K., et al. The Indian cobra reference genome and transcriptome enables comprehensive identification of venom toxins. Nat Genet 52, 106–117, 2020.

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