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34 New Bacteria Types Discovered on Dokdo Islets

Posted July. 22, 2008 09:07,   


Dokdonella koreensis and Dokdonia donghaensis are the names of new bacteria types discovered on the Dokdo islets. Their Korean discoverers have used the word “Dokdo” to name the new bacteria.

The Education, Science and Technology Ministry yesterday said a team at the Microbial Genomics and Application Center discovered 34 new types of bacteria, including four this year and 15 last year, on Dokdo.

For three consecutive years Korea has topped the list of the discovery of new bacteria as compiled by the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.

Including the bacteria discovered on Dokdo, Korean researchers last year discovered 147 new bacteria types representing 24.7 percent of new discoveries in the world. Japan was second with 114 types and 19.1 percent and Germany third with 67 types and 11.2 percent.

The team brought samples of sand and sea water from Dokdo, gene-analyzed the samples and compared them with the databases of other countries. In doing so, members discovered new bacteria types and named several of them using the word “Dokdo” and reported their study to the microbiology journal.

When the research results are publicized, scientists around the world will use the name given by the discoverer. The name “Dokdonia” also appears in a report by Swedish scientists in the January issue of Nature.

Research team leader Yun Jeong-hoon said, “This is an academic confirmation to the world that Dokdo is Korean territory. We are also studying how to industrialize Dokdo bacteria.”

One hundred grams of soil contains hundreds of thousands of bacteria. Yun said Korea has the finest technology in nurturing the bacteria in labs and identifying new types among them.

In the journal’s list of new discovery of bacteria, Korea ranked fourth in 2003 and second in 2004 before staying on top since then.