About us

Desert Life Science Lab

The Desert Life Sciences Laboratory (DLSL) is an advanced genomic research facility established jointly with BGI, China, in 2020. The laboratory has some of the latest biotechnological equipment, including the next-generation sequencing platform (DNBSEQ-G400RS). The laboratory is designed to conduct whole genome re-sequencing, genotyping-by-sequencing, metagenomics, transcriptomics, small RNA sequencing and other types of research.

The laboratory's broad objectives include:

  1. Supporting the development of more resilient genotypes of various crops suited to marginal environments through genomic approaches.
  2. Conducting the molecular characterization and genomic analysis of plant genetic resources available at ICBA’s genebank to ensure their efficient utilization for crop breeding and improvement in marginal environments.
  3. Promoting the use of genomic and biotechnological approaches and tools through individual and institutional capacity development in different countries.


Soil metagenome analysis

Soil metagenome analysis is used for studying the microbial diversity in soil.

Transcriptome sequencing

Transcriptome sequencing is a next-generation sequencing technique to study the presence and quantity of RNA in a biological sample.

Genotyping by sequencing (GBS)

Genotyping by sequencing (GBS) is used for identifying single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) by re-sequencing the genomes to perform genotyping studies.

Genome-wide Association Studies (GWAS)

Genome-wide Association Studies (GWAS) are used for obtaining candidate genes/loci associated with phenotypic traits by studying the linkage disequilibrium between markers and phenotypic characteristics.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS)

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is a comprehensive method for determining the complete DNA sequence of an organism's genome.


Real-time PCR

Real-time PCR

The Applied Biosystems™ Real-time PCR is used for checking the level of gene expression as well as validation of transcriptome analysis results from the NGS platform.

The laboratory is also equipped with a Qubit 4 Fluorometer, PCR machines (Bioer and Applied Biosystems™), high-speed centrifuges, an autoclave, laminar flow hoods, growth chambers etc.

Agilent Bioanalyzer 2100

Agilent Bioanalyzer 2100

Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer is a microfluidics-based automated electrophoresis system for sizing, quantification and quality control of DNA, RNA, proteins, and cells. The system integrates an instrument, data processing software, reagents, and a microfluidic chip specific for DNA, RNA, and protein analysis. It is suitable for next-generation sequencing, gene expression, biopharmaceutical, and genome editing workflows, delivering highly precise analytical evaluation of various sample types.

M220 Focused-ultrasonicator

M220 Focused-ultrasonicator

M220 Focused-ultrasonicator™ is an easy-to-use system which facilitates DNA shearing for next-generation sequencing and generates tight, highly reproducible fragment distributions. It features optimized shearing programs to generate fragment sizes between 150 and 5,000 bp. It also has the Adaptive Focused Acoustics (AFA) technology which helps to eliminate operator-induced variations, improve recoveries, increase efficiency, and provide standardized results.

DNBSEQ-G400RS next-generation sequencing platform

DNBSEQ-G400RS next-generation sequencing platform

DNBSEQ-G400RS is one of the latest next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms. It can generate 1440 GB of data in less than 72 hours with a read length of up to 400 bp. The platform can be used for sequencing the genomes of various species, genotyping by sequencing, whole genome re-sequencing, whole exome sequencing, metagenomic analysis as well as transcriptome sequencing.