News:Scientists at the National Centre for Microbial Resource — National Centre for Cell Science (NCMR-NCCS) have discovered a new archaeon (a kind of microorganism) in Sambhar Salt Lake in Rajasthan.
- Archaea (singular archaeon) are a primitive group of microorganisms that thrive in extreme habitats such as hot springs, cold deserts and hypersaline lakes.
- These slow-growing organisms are also present in the human gut and have a potential relationship with human health.However,as archaea are relatively poorly studied,little is known about how archaea behave in the human body.
- They are also known for producing antimicrobial molecules and for antioxidant activity with applications in eco-friendly waste-water treatment.
- Further,Archaea are extremely difficult to culture due to challenges in providing natural conditions in a laboratory setting.
About Natrialba Swarupiae:
- The new archaeon discovered in Sambhar Lake has been named Natrialba swarupiae after Dr Renu Swarup,Secretary,Department of Biotechnology for her initiative in supporting microbial diversity studies in the country.
About Sambhar Lake:
- Sambhar Lake is India’s largest inland saltwater lake situated in the state of Rajasthan.
- The Lake was designated as a Ramsar site in 1990.It is also famous for salt production and is also an Important Bird Area(IBA)
- National Centre for Microbial Resource(NCMR) was started as Microbial Culture Collection(MCC) in 2009.
- It comes under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT),Government of India.
- It’s mandate is to preserve and catalogue the diversity of bacteria collected from different ecological niches from all over India and to make them available for biotechnological exploitation by researchers.