Indian scientists discover new algae

Source: Tribune

What is the News?

Scientists from the Central University of Punjab, Bathinda have discovered a new species of marine green algae from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The green seaweed is named Acetabularia jalakanyakae.

About Acetabularia jalakanyakae:
Acetabularia jalakanyakae
Source: Independent
  1. Acetabularia jalakanyakae is a bright green algae with a size as small as 20 to 40 mm.
  2. This algae species is named after the word ‘jalakanyaka’ which means ‘goddess of oceans’ or ‘mermaid’ in the Sanskrit language. 
  3. It is the first species of the genus Acetabularia discovered in India.
Key Features:
  1. Acetabularia jalakanyakae  have caps with intricate designs as if they were umbrellas of a mermaid.
  2. The main feature of the newly discovered species is that the plant is made up of one gigantic cell with a nucleus.
  3. Its nucleus forms a rhizoid structure, which facilitates the algae to attach itself to shallow rocks.
    • Rhizoids are a structure in plants and fungi that functions like a root in support or absorption.
  4. Moreover, the species is highly regenerative in nature such that even if one chops off the top portion, the algae can regrow.
About Algae:
  1. Algae are chlorophyll-bearing, simple, thalloid, autotrophic and largely aquatic (both freshwater and marine) organisms. 
  2. They also occur in a variety of other habitats: moist stones, soils and wood. Some of them also occur in association with fungi (lichen) and animals (e.g., on sloth bear).
  3. The algae reproduce by vegetative, asexual and sexual methods. 
  4. Algae are useful to man in a variety of ways. At least a half of the total carbon dioxide fixation on earth is carried out by algae through photosynthesis.
  5. They are also of paramount importance as primary producers of energy-rich compounds which form the basis of the food cycles of all aquatic animals.  
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