Bharathidasan University to set up national repository of microalgae

The Microbiology Department of Bharathidasan University will set up a National Repository of Freshwater Microalgae and Cyanobactera with financial assistance from the Department of Biotechnology of the Union Ministry of Science and Technology.

Besides approving the proposal sent by N.Thajuddin, Professor and Head of the Department of Microbiology, the ministry has sanctioned a sum of Rs.84.65 lakh as first instalment.

This repository will be a national centre on a par with the existing National Facility for Marine Cyanobacteria (NFMC), established in 1990 by Prof.G.Subramanian, former Head of the Department of the university. Mr. Thajuddin and his team have been working on the field of research for the past two decades.

Mr. Thajuddin said here on Tuesday that the repository would carry out extensive survey of freshwater bodies in the mainland and coastal areas of South India to explore the diversity and eco-biology of freshwater microalgae and cyanobacteria. It would work on continuous enlargement of freshwater microalgal and cyanobacterial repository and supply the cultures for needy institutions in the country.

There was a need to develop a separate monograph for freshwater microalgae and cyanobacteria, Mr.Thajuddin said. Besides working to develop the monograph, the repository would actively work on morphological, biochemical, and molecular-based identification and development of DNA bar-coding of the microalgae and cyanobacteria.

It would carry out detailed study on uncultivable microalgae and cyanobacteria through metagenomic approach.

Considering the need for promoting freshwater microalgae, the repository would conduct annual taxonomy workshops on microalgae.

Stating that the repository was a significant addition to the university, he said that efforts would be made to make the repository as significant as the Pastuer Culture Collection (France), American Type Culture Collection (USA), and Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (UK).

Photo: The repository will supply culture of freshwater species to institutions across the country. File Photo: B. Velankanni Raj

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