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International honour for scientist from Maharashtra

19-07-2017 12:00 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream

International honour for scientist from Maharashtra | My Indian Dream

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US Institute honors a bacteriologist from Maharashtra

S G Borkar, a plant bacteriologist has been honored by The National Centre of Bio Technological Information (NCBI) of USA which named a newly found plant bacterial strain after him.

Borkar, a  61-year-old scientist along with his research student Ajayashree TS discovered a new pneumonia strain that infests pomegranate plants in western Maharashtra.

Borkar, who is currently the principal of an Ambajogai-based agricultural college of the Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Agricultural University said that the newly found bacterial strain causes root bark necrosis and wilt in pomegranate plant. The bacteria thrives in the uprooted wilted plants and its roots.

Earlier, the bacterial strain was known to cause pneumonia in human beings alone, but studies have shown that it inflicts the disease in plants also. It harbors in the infected soil and root system for two years.

Expressing concern, Borkar said that it has been found to infect vegetable crops seedling like tomato, chilli and brinjal. This bacterial strain can pose a threat to these crops in future.

Borkar conducted the genome sequencing of the strain and sent the details to NCBI which designated the strain as Klebsiella pneumoniae strain Borkar.

This nomenclature is being considered unique as the NCBI usually designates numbers to most of the Klebsiella strains. This is a solitary case where the strain is named after the scientist who discovered it.

Top authorities at Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Agricultural University said that naming the bacterial strain by Gene Bank in the US after Borkar is incredible and a milestone in the science of bacteriology.


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