The Indian cobra reference genome and transcriptome enables comprehensive identification of venom toxins. Academic Article uri icon


  • Snakebite envenoming is a serious and neglected tropical disease that kills ~100,000people annually. High-quality, genome-enabled comprehensive characterization of toxin genes will facilitate development of effective humanized recombinant antivenom. We report a de novo near-chromosomal genome assembly of Naja naja, the Indian cobra, a highly venomous, medically important snake. Our assembly has a scaffold N50 of 223.35Mb, with 19scaffolds containing 95% of the genome. Of the 23,248predicted protein-coding genes, 12,346venom-gland-expressed genes constitute the 'venom-ome' and this included 139genes from 33toxin families. Among the 139toxin genes were 19'venom-ome-specific toxins' (VSTs) that showed venom-gland-specific expression, and these probably encode the minimal core venom effector proteins. Synthetic venom reconstituted through recombinant VST expression will aid in the rapid development of safe and effective synthetic antivenom. Additionally, our genome could serve as a reference for snake genomes, support evolutionary studies and enable venom-driven drug discovery.

published proceedings

  • Nat Genet

altmetric score

  • 645.558

author list (cited authors)

  • Suryamohan, K., Krishnankutty, S. P., Guillory, J., Jevit, M., Schrder, M. S., Wu, M., ... Seshagiri, S.

citation count

  • 97

complete list of authors

  • Suryamohan, Kushal||Krishnankutty, Sajesh P||Guillory, Joseph||Jevit, Matthew||Schröder, Markus S||Wu, Meng||Kuriakose, Boney||Mathew, Oommen K||Perumal, Rajadurai C||Koludarov, Ivan||Goldstein, Leonard D||Senger, Kate||Dixon, Mandumpala Davis||Velayutham, Dinesh||Vargas, Derek||Chaudhuri, Subhra||Muraleedharan, Megha||Goel, Ridhi||Chen, Ying-Jiun J||Ratan, Aakrosh||Liu, Peter||Faherty, Brendan||de la Rosa, Guillermo||Shibata, Hiroki||Baca, Miriam||Sagolla, Meredith||Ziai, James||Wright, Gus A||Vucic, Domagoj||Mohan, Sangeetha||Antony, Aju||Stinson, Jeremy||Kirkpatrick, Donald S||Hannoush, Rami N||Durinck, Steffen||Modrusan, Zora||Stawiski, Eric W||Wiley, Kristen||Raudsepp, Terje||Kini, R Manjunatha||Zachariah, Arun||Seshagiri, Somasekar

publication date

  • January 2020