Picocystis Salinarum

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Recently, a young researcher has divulged the secret of how the Picocystis Salinarum survives the harshest of conditions by resorting to physiological adaptation to highly saline-alkaline/hyperosmotic conditions.

About Picocystis Salinarum

  • It is a globally widespread picoplanktonic green alga of saline lakes. 
  • It is one of the smallest green algae.
  • It is found in hypersaline soda lake Sambhar, Rajasthan, to survive extreme environments. Though the alga had been widely found in saline-soda lakes around the world, it was spotted for the first time in India only in the Sambhar Lake.
  • The unique organism apparently enhances photosynthesis and ATP synthesis along with chaperone proteins as key response to high salinity-alkalinity.
  • Enhanced photosynthetic activity exhibited by P. salinarum in highly saline-alkaline condition is noteworthy as photosynthesis is suppressed under hyperosmotic conditions in most photosynthetic organisms.

Key facts about Sambhar Lake

  • It is India's largest saline wetland located in Rajasthan.
  • It is a ephemeral salt lake,
  • It is also a designated Ramsar Site (recognized wetland of international importance).
  • It represents the depression of the Aravalli Range.
  • This inland lake receives water from five rivers, namely Samaod, Khari, Mantha, Khandela, Medtha, and Roopangarh. 

Q1) What are Algae

Algae are a diverse group of photosynthetic organisms that range from microscopic single-celled organisms to large, multicellular seaweeds. They are found in various aquatic environments, including freshwater, saltwater, and even in moist terrestrial habitats like rocks and soil.

Source: Inspire Faculty fellow decodes molecular mechanism behind intriguing green alga surviving in extreme conditions like saline-soda lakes