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Discovery of ‘Paramyrothecium indicum’ in Kerala

Why is it in the news?

  • Scientists have recently made a significant discovery of a new species of fungus in Kerala, named ‘Paramyrothecium indicum’.

About ‘Paramyrothecium indicum’

  • ‘Paramyrothecium indicum’ is identified as a new species of phytopathogenic fungus.
  • It is associated with emerging leaf spots on wild hibiscus plants near the Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary in the Thrissur district of Kerala. (Note: Phytopathogens are parasites that thrive on host plants, causing diseases).
  • The majority of Paramyrothecium species, including ‘Paramyrothecium indicum’, are considered phytopathogens.
  • Phytopathogenic fungi are responsible for causing serious plant diseases, potentially affecting crop productivity.
  • The leaf spots caused by ‘Paramyrothecium indicum’ represent a fungal disease capable of affecting various plant species.
  • Certain Paramyrothecium species, including the newly discovered ‘Paramyrothecium indicum’, generate secondary metabolites with bio-herbicidal potential. This suggests their potential use in weed control, highlighting a practical application for agriculture.
About Fungi

·       Fungi constitute a diverse group of organisms within the biological kingdom Fungi.

·       The group includes various organisms such as mushrooms, molds, yeasts, rusts, smuts, and mildews.

·       Fungi form a distinct kingdom, separate from plants, animals, and bacteria.

·       Fungi are eukaryotic organisms, characterized by cells with membrane-bound organelles and well-defined nuclei.

·       Fungi typically reproduce through both sexual and asexual means, contributing to their adaptability and diversity.

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