UAEU Research Team Discovers New Type of Fungus

27 Nov 2017

The research team at United Arab Emirates University has discovered a new fungus that is said to have beneficial properties.

The research team from the College of Food and Agriculture (CFA) named the fungus as Dominikia Emiratia. The discovery was made while evaluating micro-organic life in the sands around Sweihan in Abu Dhabi. The discovered fungus is a type of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, that lives in plant roots and protect the host from disease, dehydration and tough weather conditions.

The discovery was a result of the joint efforts of the UAEU research team and researchers from the West Pomeranian University of Technology in Poland. The team isolated the fungus and identified its physical and genetic features. They chose to name the fungus Dominikia Emiratia to include the name of the location it was found in.

Professor Mohammed Al Baili, Vice Chancellor of UAEU, stressed the importance of this discovery. He added that the research team is now working to develop this discovery up to the production stage.

“By carrying the name of the country, this discovery enhances the reputation of the UAE and UAEU in terms of scientific research and academia. It is to be hoped that such discoveries encourage further innovation and exploration.”

He went on to say, “this discovery contributes to the UAE’s green economy which seeks to reach many sustainable goals for the country. UAEU is working in tune with the nation’s agenda and that of UAE Vision 2021 to achieve a more sustainable environment.”

Professor Bhanu Chowdhary, Dean of the CFA, praised the research team, adding that “the CFA is proud of the cooperation between researchers and students. The college is looking forward to utilising the fungus in commercial applications very soon.”

He went on to add the benefits of the newly discovered fungi:

“One of the most important is that it acts as an effective medium to transfer food to plants and in doing so protects plants from disease, and enhances their sustainability in tough environmental and weather conditions.”