New genus of cyanobacteria discovered in Tripura by BHU researchers

Updated on Aug 27, 2022 10:55 AM IST

The newly-discovered genus has been named Johanseniella while the species has been named Tripurensis as it was discovered in Tripura

Sagarika Pal from Tripura, a PhD scholar of BHU’s Centre of Advanced Study in Department of Botany, initiated the study in 2020. (Twitter/BHU RESEARCH DESK)
Sagarika Pal from Tripura, a PhD scholar of BHU’s Centre of Advanced Study in Department of Botany, initiated the study in 2020. (Twitter/BHU RESEARCH DESK)
ByPriyanka Deb Barman

A new genus of cyanobacteria was discovered in Tripura by a team of researchers of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), according to a press communique issued by the varsity’s Information and Public Relations office on Thursday.

Cyanobacteria, a vital component in ecosystem, are the organisms responsible for oxygenation of Earth.

Hailing from Tripura, Sagarika Pal, a PhD scholar of BHU’s Centre of Advanced Study in Department of Botany, initiated the study in 2020 under the guidance of Dr. Prashant Singh, who is an assistant professor in the department.

The team comprised Naresh Kumar, PhD scholar, Arush Singh, Utkarsh Talukdar and Niraj Kohar, M.Sc students of Botany in BHU and Aniket Saraf from RJ college in Mumbai.

The newly-discovered genus has been named Johanseniella, after well-known phycologist Prof. Jeffrey R. Johansen from the John Caroll University, United States while the species has been named Tripurensis as it was discovered in Tripura.

“.. Achieving a milestone in the field of taxonomy ( the science of identification of living forms), BHU scientists have achieved a major breakthrough by identifying and describing a new genus of cyanobacteria from the North Eastern state of Tripura......Johanseniella tripurensis, is the first report of a new cyanobacterial genus being discovered from this region, which also happens to be one of the handful of findings of such genera in India,” said the press communique.

The Department of Science and Technology ( DST), Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) Core Research Grant and the Seed Grant under the BHU Institution of Eminence Scheme funded the research work.

According to the researchers, there might be vast numbers of cyanobacteria in the Northeast that are yet to be discovered and they are hopeful that the study will help to discover, identify and conserve cyanobacteria from different parts of the global biodiversity hot spot.

“This particular cyanobacteria has been collected from a small village named Hurua, Dharmanagar, North district of Tripura. This study could serve as a template for promoting conservation efforts across the Northeast Region. We are further extending ourselves and will continue to work more on cyanobacteria from these biodiversity hot spots,” said Dr Prashant Singh.

“This newly identified cyanobacteria from Tripura can be researched to check its potential for high value products and ability to withstand varied environment conditions,” said Sabyasachi Dasgupta, professor of Department of Forestry and Biodiversity, Tripura University.

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