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University contributes 19 bacteria strains to World Genomic Bank


University of Ilorin (UNILORIN)

The Director, xInstitute of Molecular Science and Biotechnology (IMSB), University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Prof. Matthew Kolawole, has said that the centre has so far contributed 19 novel bacteria strains to the World Genomic Bank.

Kolawole said that 19 additional novel bio-flocculating bacterial strains, which were isolated, had been submitted to the World Genomic Bank, otherwise known as the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), United States (U.S.).He stated this in the 2018 yearly report of scientific breakthroughs of the university.

According to him, the laudable effort by the biotechnology centre led to issuance of the NCBI’s unique ascension numbers to the institute, which was reported for the first time across the world.He said the discovery of the strains and local production of water treatment composite materials, which IMSB had been pioneering in the last one year, moves the country closer to solving the massive shortage of potable water.

The importance of the discovery, according to him, might not be fully appreciated until it was juxtaposed with the water needs of Nigeria.“This outstanding feat has further cemented the institute’s goal of contributing to the genomic bank. The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) reports that over 70 million Nigerians are without potable water and Nigeria requires $8 billion yearly to provide potable water for its citizens,” he said.He also stated that the university recorded a significant breakthrough in biotechnological innovation, with the development of a “Two-way Trans-illuminator Viewing Documentation System.”

The instrument, he said, had been tested and confirmed to be very functional and effective in providing wider surface area for larger genetic material (DNA/RNA) samples with significant qualities that would address multifarious human needs in the field of medical biotechnology.

Kolawole, who noted that the discovery would facilitate the much-needed “portability, affordability, low voltage consumption, on-site view of standard DNA marker and two sources of illumination,” said the development would further ensure better result presentation and recording with a third battery operated LED light that would help in improving health-care delivery.

He stated that the invention had since been filed for patent at the National Office of NOTAPS through the University’s Centre for Laboratory to Product (LABTOP), adding that the institute also attained the isolation of Molecular Identification and Evaluation of Bioflocculant-producing Bacteria from Oyun, Asa and Agba Rivers in Ilorin, Kwara State, last year.

For him, the discovery would proffer a wide range of indigenous bacteria with flocculants producing potentials and explore ways of improving bio-flocculating activities and corona virus OC43 and OC229 E/NL63, discovered for the first time in Nigeria as a cause of respiratory tract illness in children.

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