BHU researchers discover new species of cyanobacteria from Jammu and Kashmir

The study has been published and is now online in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM).

BHU researchers (Image: Official Release)BHU researchers (Image: Official Release)

Arpita Das | January 23, 2023 | 07:59 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Banaras Hindu University (BHU) researchers have discovered a new species of Cyanobacteria from Jammu and Kashmir. The new species has been named Amazonocrinis malviyae in honour of Bharat Ratna Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, the founder of BHU, as a tribute to his contributions and struggles.

Dr Prashant Singh, Assistant Professor, Department of Botany, and Naresh Kumar, a doctoral student working under the supervision of Dr Singh, have discovered a new species of cyanobacteria from Jammu and Kashmir. Naresh Kumar, the first author of the study has been working with cyanobacteria in these regions as part of his PhD work.

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The study becomes further significant and interesting as the genus Amazonocrinis was discovered recently by researchers in the Amazon forests of Brazil in 2021. The discovery of another new species of Amazonocrinis from the cold regions of Jammu within a short time further establishes the importance of studying these life forms in a bio-geographical context.

Maintaining the zeal and series of new discoveries pertaining to the taxonomy of cyanobacteria, the researchers also wanted to contribute further to the ever-lasting legacy of Mahamana. Dr Prashant Singh said that the memoirs of Mahamana’s life serve as a template to people associated with BHU who, in spite of facing hardships, have always worked hard to realize their dreams and contribute to the benefit of the nation.

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Through this work, Dr Singh’s group aims to motivate more students and researchers all across India to join hands and work for the conservation of these precious life forms. This could be one of the major ways through which we could fight global climate change and biodiversity loss, added Dr Singh. The research team also comprised Dr Aniket Saraf (RJ College, Mumbai), Sagarika Pal and Deeksha Mishra (Department of Botany, BHU).

The work was funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST-SERB), Government of India, through the Core Research Grant Project. Banaras Hindu University is also acknowledged for providing Seed Grant under the Institution of Eminence (IoE) Scheme.

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