What is Gomphonema rajaguruii?

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What is Gomphonema rajaguruii? Blog Image


Researchers at the Pune-based Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) recently discovered a new species named Gomphonema rajaguruii from the northern Western Ghats.

About Gomphonema rajaguruii:

  • It is a new freshwater diatom species.
  • It was found in a semi-aquatic environment along the wet walls in Maharashtra’s popular hill station, Mahabaleshwar in Satara District.
  • It was named after a veteran geo-archaeologist from the city, the late Professor S N Rajaguru.
  • It is unique because it shows the characteristics of two genus – Gomphonema and Gomphoneis.

What are Diatoms?

  • It is a photosynthetic, single celled organism.
  • They are a major group of algae and form one of the most common forms of phytoplankton.
  • 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.


Q1) What is an Algae?

Algae 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. However, there exists a vast and varied world of algae that are not only helpful to us, but are critical to our existence.

Source: New oxygen-supplying algae species found in Mahabaleshwar, named after Pune scientist