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Visva-Bharti researchers unearth novel bacteria; name it 'Pantoea Tagorei' in honour of Rabindranath Tagore

The team named the bacteria Pantoea Tagorei in honour of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, marking the first time any living organism has been named after the iconic figure. This discovery holds great significance in the realm of agriculture and sustainable farming practices.

Kolkata Visva Bharti researchers unearth novel bacteria; name it 'Pantoea Tagorei' in honour of Rabindrinath Tagore snt
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First Published Dec 22, 2023, 3:26 PM IST

A team of six researchers from Visva-Bharati University has recently made a groundbreaking discovery by identifying a new species of bacteria with unique properties beneficial for plant growth. The team named the bacteria Pantoea Tagorei in honour of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, marking the first time any living organism has been named after the iconic figure. This discovery holds great significance in the realm of agriculture and sustainable farming practices.

Led by Bomba Dam, an assistant professor at the Microbiology Laboratory in the Department of Botany, the research team, including Raju Biswas, Arijit Misra, Sandip Ghosh, Abhinaba Chakraborty, and Puja Mukherjee, uncovered the bacteria in the soil of the Jharia coal mines. The bacteria, Pantoea Tagorei, exhibits remarkable properties, including the solubilization of potassium, nitrogen replenishment, phosphorus solubilization, and the promotion of plant growth.

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The decision to name the bacteria after Rabindranath Tagore stems from his dedicated efforts to promote agriculture. Tagore's commitment to advancing agricultural practices aligns with the bacteria's potential to enhance soil fertility and plant growth. Pantoea Tagorei serves as a living tribute to the Nobel Laureate's contributions to the agricultural sector.

The team's research findings have been recently published in the Indian Journal of Microbiology, providing a comprehensive overview of Pantoea Tagorei's characteristics and its potential applications in agriculture. The publication underscores the significance of this discovery in the scientific community.

The excessive use of chemical fertilizers has led to the degradation of arable land, prompting a shift towards organic farming. Pantoea Tagorei emerges as a promising solution, as it not only solubilizes potassium but also replenishes nitrogen, solubilizes phosphorus, and promotes plant growth. Initial experiments involving farmers who received this bacteria have yielded positive results, indicating its potential for sustainable and organic farming practices.

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The new acting Vice-Chancellor of Visva-Bharati University, Sanjoy Kumar Mallik, commended the research team for their significant contribution. He emphasized the profound impact that Pantoea Tagorei could have on agriculture, highlighting its potential to revolutionize farming practices.

The discovery of Pantoea Tagorei by the Visva-Bharati research team marks a momentous achievement in the field of microbiology and agriculture. The bacteria's unique properties make it a valuable asset for sustainable farming, and its homage to Rabindranath Tagore adds a cultural and historical dimension to its significance. As further research unfolds, Pantoea Tagorei could play a pivotal role in shaping the future of eco-friendly and productive agricultural practices.

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