In a groundbreaking discovery, a rare and unique mushroom genus, marking its first-ever report in India has been discovered in the Kishtwar district of Jammu in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Prof Faisal Mushtaq Kichloo, Head of the Department of Botany at the Government Degree College, Kishtwar, is behind this great discovery.
The findings, confirmed by a scientist from New Zealand have been published in Mycotaxon, a US-based scientific journal on fungi, unveiling a novel addition to the mycological landscape of the region.
Prof Kichloo's relentless pursuit of knowledge in the realm of wild mushrooms has yielded an unprecedented find of mushroom Taxa previously unknown to India. The discovery was made in one of the most remote areas of district Kishtwar, highlighting the ecological richness of the region.
Professor Faisal Mushtaq Kichloo, showing Oyster mushrooms grown in his farm
The significance of this discovery resonates globally, as it was reported in an esteemed international research journal. The identification of this unique mushroom genus was accomplished through meticulous morpho-microscopic characterization, complemented by Molecular Phylogeny.
The research was conducted at a reputed research institute in India, contributing to the scientific understanding of this newfound species.
The discovery not only adds to the biodiversity archives of District Kishtwar but also underscores the importance of ongoing research efforts in understanding and conserving our natural heritage.
Unfortunately, the manuscript faced unexpected delays in publication due to the sudden demise of Lorelei Norwell, Editor-in-Chief of Mycotaxon, in August.
The research paper of Prof Faisal Mushtaq Kichloo, also claims the collaboration of a distinguished co-author, who currently serves as Principal Scientist at the Botanical Survey of India.
This collaborative effort increases the credibility and depth of research findings.
The discovery not only adds to the biodiversity archives of Kishtwar district but also underlines the importance of ongoing research efforts in understanding and preserving the natural heritage of Kashmir.
Prof Faisal is known for his passion about research on mushroom. He owns an experimental mushroom farm where he educates people about cultivating this delicacty.