Gomphonema rajaguruii

Researchers at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) in Pune have made an exciting discovery in the field of diatoms. A new species of diatom, named Gomphonema rajaguruii, was found in a semi-aquatic environment along the wet walls of Maharashtra’s picturesque hill station, Mahabaleshwar.

Unveiling Gomphonema rajaguruii

The diatom species recently discovered by ARI researchers has been named Gomphonema rajaguruii. This finding highlights the ongoing exploration of diatom biodiversity and their ecological importance.

Thriving in a Semi-Aquatic Environment

Gomphonema rajaguruii was specifically found in a semi-aquatic environment along the wet walls of Mahabaleshwar, situated in the Satara district of Maharashtra. This unique habitat contributes to the species’ distinct characteristics and highlights the diversity of diatoms within different ecosystems.

Dual Characteristics of Gomphonema rajaguruii

Gomphonema rajaguruii stands out due to its rare dual characteristics. It exhibits traits of two genera, Gomphoema and Gomphoneis, making it a noteworthy addition to diatom taxonomy. Such dual-characteristic diatoms are uncommon, adding to the scientific value of this discovery.

The Role of Diatoms in the Ecosystem

Diatoms play a crucial role in the ecosystem by supplying oxygen to the atmosphere through photosynthesis. These single-cell algae, including Gomphonema rajaguruii, are commonly found in freshwater, brackish water, and various aquatic environments like lakes, rivers, streams, rivulets, and even the sea.

Contributions of Professor S N Rajaguru

The late Professor S N Rajaguru, after whom the species is named, was a highly regarded geo-archaeologist and former faculty member of Deccan College. He made significant contributions to the field by exploring the connections between biological and archaeological remains during excavations. Additionally, his research shed light on tectonic aspects of landform evolution, enriching the overall understanding of India’s paleo-environment.

Earlier Discovery of Diatoms with Dual Characteristics

Prior to the discovery of Gomphonema rajaguruii, the Biodiversity and Paleobiology lab at ARI had found another diatom species, Aghakarii, which also exhibited dual-characteristic features. These findings emphasize Asia’s role in enhancing species diversity and contribute to reconstructing the biological history of the region.

Similar Diatom Species in Kerala

Kerala, a state in India, is home to Gomphonema kallarense, a diatom species that shares some morphological similarities with Gomphonema rajaguruii. The presence of related diatom species in different regions underscores the wide distribution and ecological adaptability of diatoms.




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