Visva-Bharati University Names Plant-Beneficial Bacteria After Rabindranath Tagore


Rabindranath Tagore, the first Indian and non-European to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1913.


A group of six researchers at Visva-Bharati University in West Bengal has discovered a novel bacterial species with plant growth-promoting properties. They named it Pantoea Tagorei in honour of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The discovery was recently published in the Indian Journal of Microbiology. The researchers are Raju Biswas, Arijit Misra, Sandip Ghosh, Abhinaba Chakraborty, and Puja Mukherjee.

Arijit Misra, a research scholar in Dr Bomba Dam’s lab, expressed pride in isolating the bacterium Pantoea tagorei and dedicating it to Rabindranath Tagore, the first Indian Nobel laureate and Rathindranath Tagore, an agriculturist, respectively. The identification process involved whole-genome sequencing for bacterial characterisation.

“Proud moment for our lab (Dr Bomba Dam’s lab). Isolated a novel bacterium and named Pantoea tagorei as a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore, the first Indian Nobel laureate, and Rathindranath Tagore, an agriculturist. WGS-based study for bacterial identification,” Mr Misra said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Due to the detrimental effects of excessive chemical fertiliser use, which renders land unusable, farmers are shifting towards organic farming and fertilisers.

The newly discovered bacterium, named MR1 (Mine Rhizosphere), is a Gram-negative, short-rod, non-motile, facultatively anaerobic, potassium-solubilising species isolated from the rhizospheric soil of an open-cast coal mine in Jharia, Jharkhand.


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