The World of Lichens
COURTESY : NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
What are Lichens
Lichens are a class of organisms that consists of a fungal partner known as the mycobiont and the green algae, or cyanobacterial partner known as the photobiont. Recent researches reveal that the lichens serve to be a better example for holobiont rather than a symbiotic organism. It consists of a dominating fungal partner, along with an included biome, thus forming a complex ecosystem. The included biome has one or several algal and bacterial communities. Usually, the fungal partner serves to be the structural component whereas, the algal partner serves to be the carbohydrate producer. If it is a nitrogen-fixing fungus, it also contributes to the nitrogen production of the organism.
What we do?
The digital herbarium aims at the implementation of various technologies to efficiently carry out the conservation process. These involve internet servers, computers, High-resolution cameras, video capturing devices, and labelling devices. This provides easy access to the data and also provides a platform for repositioning. The process of the digital library works collaboratively. Researchers gain access to the database, and they, in turn, contribute to the database through their works. Thus, a collaborative accumulation of resources takes place. Digitization removes many physical barriers to specimen data access.
Who we are?
The Bharathiar University, Coimbatore is a green-flushed campus, with high floral diversity. The Department of Botany is one of the pioneers of the university in various aspects. One such is this initiative. The Biomedical Research Lab of the Department functions efficiently under the steady guideship of Dr. P. Ponmurugan, Associate Professor. The lichen herbarium of this lab houses more than 50 species of Lichens, belonging to more than 7 families. This work tries its best to make the existing physical herbarium into a virtual digital herbarium to make it easily accessible for all and also to serve as a repository for future specimen collections.