GOMPHONEMOID DIATOM (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     22nd June 2024        

Context: Researchers have discovered a new genus of the Gomphonemoid diatom found in the clean water river of the Eastern Ghats.

Gomphonemoid diatom

  • About: Diatoms are microscopic algae that produce 25% of global oxygen, contributing to approximately every fourth breath we inhale.
  • Aquatic Food Chain: Diatoms serve as the base of the aquatic food chain, supporting marine ecosystems.
  • Indicators: Due to their sensitivity to water chemistry changes, diatoms are excellent indicators of aquatic health.
  • Habitat: They are found in almost every aquatic environment including fresh and marine waters.
  • In India: Diatoms are the first recorded microorganisms in India, with Ehrenberg's first report dating back to 1845 in his publication Mikrogeologie.

oIndia hosts nearly 6,500 diatom taxa, with 30% being endemic, reflecting the country's unique biodiversity.

  • Discovery of Indiconema: Scientists from the Agharkar Research Institute discovered Indiconema, a diatom differing in having a pore field at both the head and foot pole.

oIndiconema species from the Eastern and Western Ghats, highlighting patterns of endemic species distribution.

  • Biogeographic Connections: Indiconema is suggested to be sister to Afrocymbella, an East African genus, with historical studies supporting similarities between diatom species from India, East Africa, and Madagascar.

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