What are Diatoms?

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What are Diatoms? Blog Image


Researchers have discovered a new genus of the Gomphonemoid diatom found in the clean water river of the Eastern Ghats and it has been named Indiconema to value its restricted distribution in the country.

About Diatoms

  • These are photosynthetic, single celled organism.
  • These are microscopic algae and serve as a base of the aquatic food chain. Due to their sensitivity towards any water chemistry changes, they are excellent indicators of aquatic health.
  • They are a major group of algae and form one of the most common forms of phytoplankton.
  • Habitat: They are found in almost every aquatic environment including fresh and marine waters.
  • Diatoms have cell walls made of silica, Each species has a distinct pattern of tiny holes in the cell wall (frustule) through which they absorb nutrients and get rid of waste.
  • Collectively, they are responsible for generating up to 50% of the oxygen produced globally each year.

Key facts about Indiconema

  • It differs in having a pore field at both the head and foot pole rather than having only at the foot pole.
  • Researchers reported one species of Indiconema from the Eastern Ghats and another from the Western Ghats. A similar pattern of sharing endemic elements between two mountain systems has been observed for other endemic-rich groups, such as reptiles.
  • Based on the morphological features of this group, the researchers have suggested that Indiconema is sister to Afrocymbella, a genus endemic to East Africa.

Q1: What is Algae?

These are a diverse group of aquatic organisms that have the ability to conduct photosynthesis. Certain algae are familiar to most people; for instance, seaweeds (such as kelp or phytoplankton), pond scum or the algal blooms in lakes.

Source: A new freshwater diatom genus discovered from the Eastern and Western Ghats