Varanasi: Botanists at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and researchers from Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune and Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI), Kerala have discovered a new genus of fungus from the samples collected from Uttarakhand.
The discovery is being considered important, because new antibiotics and other important mixtures (metabolites) from new fungi are being discovered for the treatment of different types of cancer.
This research work has been published in a prestigious journal Phytotaxa on November 3.
Senior assistant professor Raghvendra Singh of BHU and his team of four researchers who worked with Paras Nath Singh of Agharkar Research Institute and Shambhu Kumar of Kerala Forest Research Institute, discovered the new genus of fungus called ‘Neokamalomyces Indicus’, from the samples collected from Uttarakhand.
Raghvendra Singh said, “The genus of this fungus has been named after Prof Kamal of Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gorakhpur University, Gorakhpur, a world eminent scientist who has done excellent work in the field of fungal diversity in India.”
According to him, the samples of leaves of banyan diseased by the fungus were collected from Uttarakhand during a survey in July 2019. The fungus was found to cause disease (yellow and brown spots) on banyan leaves which later spread to the entire leaves.
This fungus has been identified as a new genus. After growing this fungus in the laboratory and studying it thoroughly, complete information about this new lineage was gathered.
This discovery has been made using modern polyphagic techniques, which are considered to be the most appropriate and important criteria in identifying organisms.
This discovery is a worthwhile effort dedicated to the identification and conservation of biodiversity.
“Our research work can play a very important role for scientists working in the field of biotechnology and scientists working in biocontrol industries, scientists related to plant diseases, scientists interested in making antifungal compounds,” said Singh.
“Fungi are a potential goldmine for the production of pharmaceuticals. It is time to include fungi in global conservation goals,” he added.