Bioinformatics and Basic Molecular Biology Training

The Basic Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology Capacity development training was an intensive practical one. it took off with a tour around the world class IITA Bioscience Unit on monday 16th July and ended on friday 20th july. it was indeed a swell time for the IARSAF mambers who participated in the program.

Ecerpts of the Training

The science behind bioinformatics was introduced, the usefulness and how it can be applied. It was made clear that sequencing without knowledge connected to it is meaningless. Bioinformatics is a major tool in the following:

  • Sequence similarity
  • Finding gene and regulatory elements
  • Functional analysis of gene
  • Homology
  • Polymorphism- different forms of species
Bioinformatics is also very useful in data formatting using FASTA, EMBL, MSA- Multiple Sequence Analysis; this is very useful in photogenesis analysis, ClustaW.

There are data analysis databases:

  • DDBJ-Japan
Bioinformatics is also very useful in gene and protein function analysis, next generation sequencing, amplification steps. Steps that involve pacific bio sciences, sequencing in flow cell (1-16 cells with IM reads), sequencing by synthesis (fluorescence), polymerase immobilization and data analysis.

Fundamentals of Molecular Biology Fundamentals of molecular biology was discussed in details, this entails the study of the structure and functions of genes at molecular level. It employs methods of molecular biology and genetics. Molecular breeding techniques entails mapping of major gene for maker assisted selection. It was emphasized that germplasm characterisation is very important before commencing on a breeding program. There are various field of study under molecular breeding, variability study is one the areas, diversity analysis: this requires breaking down of different traits. It is important because plant breeding can’t exist if there is no genetic diversity. Genetic variation is very important in order not to lose alleles into extinction. There are change in genetic change, this include Mutation, Migration, Natural selection and genetic difference.

More light was shed on linkage mapping and QTL analysis. They are used in studying genome structure, estimation of gene effects; it’s important and agronomic traits, tagging of gene of interest. Marker assisted selection (MAS) are DNA markers which can actually and reliably predict phenotype. It is useful in selecting progeny with functional markers. They are simpler method compared to phenotypic screening.

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