Our Technologies

1. DNA, Genes and Heredity

DNA is the hereditary material of microorganisms, plants and animals that determines their characteristics. It is inherited from one generation to another.

  • A DNA molecule comprises phosphate, sugar and a nitrogenous base.
    The sequence of a DNA is determined by four nitrogenous bases; adenine (A), guanine (G), thymine (T) and cytosine (C). A is always pairs with T while G with C.

  • The order of these bases on the DNA molecule may code for a protein that contributes to a characteristic. This segment of DNA is called a gene. It is the basic unit of heredity.

  • A complex organism has more than 20,000 genes.

  • The entire hereditary information of an organism is known as the genome. (The human genome is made up of about 3 billion base pairs of DNA which codes for about 35,000 genes)

2. DNA Sequencing

DNA sequencing is a process to determine the order of nucleotide bases; A, C, G, and T, in a DNA molecule. One of the ways to establish this order is the Sanger Method. The method is an enzymatic DNA syntheses reaction in which DNA chain elongation is terminated by adding one of four nucleosides that has been chemically modified.

This will result in short DNA fragments which are separated according to size using gel electrophoresis with the smallest fragments at the bottom and the largest at the top. The order or sequence of the DNA can then be determined by reading the modified nucleosides incorporated from the smallest to the largest fragment.

3. Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics is the convergence of information technology and multidisciplinary of sciences to extract biologically significant information from biological techniques. It has played a pivotal role to revolutionalize life science research in the area of genome sequence analysis, biomarker discovery, expression profiling, system biology, comparative genomics research and drug discovery. This area has created a stream of large and complex genomic data, which has transformed and accelerate the research to discovery.

4. Biomarker Discovery

Currently, ACGT is using genomic approaches to discover DNA-based biomarkers. These biomarkers provide crucial information to help ACGT scientists in the selection of superior plants. An important trait like oil yield can be selected by identifying its corresponding DNA markers in the genome of the plant.