Taxonomy Minimises Chaos in Society

By Humphrey Ogu

Professor Ikechukwu Agbagwa of the Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, has observed that Taxonomy as discipline is critical in reducing confusion in human society. The Professor of Taxonomy and Molecular Biology made the observation in the 178" Inaugural Lecture of the University at Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium on Thursday, December 16, 2021.

Delivering the Lecture captioned "Taxonomic Complexities and Molecular Diversity: Ancient and Modern", Agbagwa who stated that "without a name there is no identity," pointed out that giving identity to organisms is the main thrust of taxonomy as a field of study. "The name of any living and non-living object is given based on certain attributes and characteristics," he added.

"The need for and importance of taxonomy can be inferred from its main aim, which is to identify, characterise, classify, and give specific names to all living organisms according to their characteristics," the Inaugural Lecturer explained. "Without a name and names, we will certainly have a chaotic complex world. Taxonomy minimises chaos and resolves complexities and confusion," he emphasised.

"Every organism on earth needs to be classified, identified and named. It is by knowing each organism and comparing it with an already named species that the incredible blessings bestowed on it by the Almighty God can easily be unravelled," he noted, listing food. medicine clothing, shelter and cleaning of the environment as some of the products and services man derives from plants.

Citing several collaborative researches he carried with his colleagues at the Faculty, the Inaugural Lecturer said he has developed a new protocol for DNA extraction from plants. "The availability of a cheap and dependable DNA protocol such as the one we developed, makes molecular biology more accessible to biological and agricultural scientists who are interested in implementing such techniques in their research. Our DNA extraction method has been in use since 2012," he disclosed.

"Other contributions of our research efforts to human welfare include identification, selection and use of crop cultivars with desirable traits, identification of disease resistant wild relatives and their use in molecular breeding, cross transfer of genomes and if ' 178th Inaugural Lecturer, Prof Agbagwa handing over a copy of the text to DVC (R&D) Prof Shninialayi its application to crop improvement, determination of molecular markers of choice in molecular breeding and whole genotype identification," Agbagwa added.

In his remarks, Vice Chancellor, Professor Owunarl Georgewill, lauded the Inaugural Lecturer for his research efforts that have attracted grants to the University. Represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Development), Professor Iyeopu Siminialayi, the Vice Chancellor noted that "Professor Agbagwa has told us about his contributions to knowledge. lie has also made some recommendations, which we have noted and will conveyed to the Management for consideration." Meanwhile the 179th Inaugural Lecture on the topic "Fraudsters are Fleet of Foot: The Forensic Accountant to Rescue", would be delivered by Professor Emmanuel lbanichuka of the Department of Accounting, Faculty of Management Sciences on Thursday, January 20,2022. 

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