BHU researchers discover new genus of cyanobacteria in Tripura

Banaras Hindu University: Responsible for oxygenation of earth, cyanobacteria are essential for all ecosystems bearing life, said the BHU statement.

BHU researchers discover new genus of cyanobacteria in Tripura Banaras Hindu University. (Source: Shutterstock)
Ishaan Arora | Aug 25, 2022 - 8:41 p.m. IST
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New Delhi: Researchers from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) have discovered a new genus of cyanobacteria in Tripura, an achievement the institute says is a “major breakthrough for researchers studying biodiversity and challenges for its conservation”.

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The study will serve as a model to inspire researchers to further collaborate and aid in the discovery, identification, and conservation of cyanobacteria. The research team believes that there may be a significant number of undiscovered cyanobacteria in the North East.

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Cyanobacteria play a significant role in practically every habitat where life is possible. They are the organisms that provide planet Earth with oxygen. Johanseniella tripurensis, which is what the team is calling the newly-discovered genus, is the first such genus discovered in the Northeast, and it is also one of only a few such discoveries in India. “The newly recognised genus was given the name Johanseniella in honour of renowned phycologist Prof. Jeffrey R. Johansen of John Carroll University in the United States, while the species name tripurensis was chosen to honour the state of Tripura where the sample was obtained,” the institute said in a statement.

The research for cyanobacteria was started in 2020 by Sagarika Pal, a PhD candidate, under the guidance of Prashant Singh, an assistant professor in the department of botany at BHU's Centre of Advanced Study.

The project received financing from the BHU Institution of Eminence Scheme seed grant and the Department of Science and Technology's (DST) SERB Core Research Grant.

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